Bush was a kind public servant -- Linda M. Johnson

December 6, 2018

Occasionally some small surprising event makes my day.

President George H.W. Bush did that for me several decades ago as I walked a narrow woodland path in the small resort town where I lived at the time. Ahead of me were several men ambling along, and I recognized the president and his Secret Service.

They stepped aside to let me pass and I beamed at him, not wanting to interrupt the quiet moments people who serve their country deserve. I simply said, “You made my day. Thank you!” And he did.

I am a progressive person, but I remember President Bush as a smart and kind person who deftly worked across partisan lines. He served in the CIA, as an ambassador and as president in tough times with selfless intent. I hope this isn’t lost in future administrations, no matter which side of the aisle they come from.

I bet President Bush’s stint as a Navy pilot showed him how small we each are individually, but how vast the world is and that we might each make a small difference. I learned to fly as a young woman, and that view of the world has a lasting impact.

It is not about the bluster that human beings are capable of conjuring up in a nanosecond of feeling self-important, but the energy we put into helping humanity in big ways and small. President Bush did all that in one long and blessed life.

Linda M. Johnson, Waunakee

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