America has lost a great patriot with the passing of Paul Weyrich. He was an individual who understood the miracle of America and believed it was worth investing a major part of his life in protecting and preserving it. So, he became a committed warrior for the principles that had undergirded the United States of America since its Founding and provided opportunity for the millions of individuals who are part of the fabric of our nation. His influence extended far beyond the borders of his country as he became a beacon for those who loved liberty elsewhere in the world, particularly in the old Soviet Union, where people yearned for practical application to move toward human liberty. His leadership had many facets; from media to political action to legislative maneuverings to strategic thinking to mention just a few. He led by example, by mentoring, by teaching, by inspiring and by bringing the power of the people to bear.
I was fortunate to have become acquainted with Paul as a young professional in Washington, D.C. in the mid ’70s. He was like a maestro and I was a junior member of his very large orchestra. I watched, listened and learned. It was about more than politics; it was about character and integrity. He believed life was precious, every life. He believed the family was the building block of society so he invested in his. He believed that one’s religious faith was the most important personal decision one could make and we all should have the freedom to make such a decision. His faith spoke very forcefully.
Others will have great stories to tell about great political victories that changed the world in which Paul Weyrich was a central figure. So, I will add a personal note that this man, this principled conservative leader who lived the last years of his life in enormous physical pain, was to the end, still a leader who took time to continue mentoring and counseling on matters of importance to the conservative community. We talked of vision, and strategy and discipline and integrity and courage in recent weeks. His wisdom and guidance will continue to guide conservative action for years to come because he invested so much of himself into so many leaders in the cause of freedom. He has now been called home by His Heavenly Father who has undoubtedly greeted him with the words, “Well done, thou Good and Faithful Servant…enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” We will miss you but we will not forget the lessons you taught us. May God bless Paul’s family and give them a peace that passes all understanding.