Dear Senator McGovern,
Today some will thank you for carrying on the liberal tradition. Others will once again call into question your willingness to negotiate with North Viet Nam, 'a tad too quickly.' All will mention your disastrous run for the presidency. But I have a personal note of thanks that I wish to stand up and add my voice to our collective 'wake' for you.
Way back 'in a galaxy far, far away' and certainly in another life, I found myself lost under the Capitol, trying to find the subway system that links all the congressional offices. I wandered around, asking various people how to find it, and being one who did not receive a 'direction chip' at birth, I proceeded to go around in circles, getting more and more anxious because I was going to be late..........
Much to my utter surprise you walked up to me and asked me if I was lost. It must have been self evident! When I explained where I was trying to go, you very kindly said that it was a little tricky to find and that you would take me there. I was astonished that a man who had just run for the presidency would take time out of his schedule to help a young person.
As we walked the lengthy walk to the subway, you chatted very easily with me about inconsequential things making me feel very much at ease. I felt very nervous because I was afraid that the topic of your losing election would surface; I had not voted for you. I need not have worried because you never pushed, pried or asked leading questions. You never talked about that campaign, the war, your points of view or the election or about you. You were a real human being. I was sorry to reach our destination because I was feeling very comfortable with you. You made a deep impression on me.
As I look back on that chance encounter with you, Senator McGovern, I am left with a memory of being with a very principled, likeable man, who genuinely cared for others and who was literally willing to go out of his way to help the least, without any agenda on your part. I have had other 'chance encounters' with politicians, and the majority 'suck up the oxygen' where ever they are and somehow always manage to bring the center of attention around to themselves. Not you.
Thank you for your principled life and retaining your humanity and caring for others as you followed your calling in life. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to meet such a person as you, however briefly.
May You Rest In Peace.