TRIBUTE TO A WEST VIRGINIAN
Those of you who have read my hubs before may be surprised that I would write a tribute to the late Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia. It’s time to put politics aside and recognize the accomplishments of a fine West Virginian. Senator Byrd loved this state and all the West Virginians who live here.
HORATIO ALGER STORY
Robert C. Byrd lived the Horatio Alger story. It’s a rags to riches story only possible in America. The senator was born Cornelius Calvin Sale, Jr. in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina on November 17, 1917. At one year of age his mother died in the worldwide flu pandemic. Following the wishes of his late wife, the senator’s father dispersed all their children among relatives to raise as their own. The senator was given to Titus and Vlurma Byrd, his uncle and aunt, who adopted him, renamed him Robert Carlyle Byrd, and raised him in the coal-mining region of southern West Virginia. From these humble beginnings the lion of the senate came into being.
MY PERSONAL MEMORIES
I first registered to vote on the day of my 21st birthday in 1967 (this was prior to the 26th Amendment to the Constitution). I registered as a Republican. Being a Republican in West Virginia is a lonely existence, but that’s another story. I hadn’t always agreed with Senator Byrd but I admired him as an advocate for the State of West Virginia. He loved the state and all West Virginians until the day of his death. I actually voted for him in his re-election in 1970, because I thought he displayed common sense. I admit he lost my vote during the Carter Administration when he defeated Teddy Kennedy for a Senate Leadership position and rammed The Panama Canal Treaty through the Senate against the wishes of West Virginians by over a 90% majority. However he was always a top-notch practitioner of constituent services. He helped me with my battle with the Social Security Administration even though I was a Republican, and he brought home the money for projects and jobs to West Virginia and that was his job as our Senator. Regardless of your political persuasion each and every soul would want a senator in these areas like Robert C. Byrd.
Even former Gov Arch A. Moore ,Jr. gave his tribute to Senator Byrd in the media yesterday.
Rest in Peace humble servant of West Virginia. May God rest your soul.