Given the political climate that exists in our nation I thought tonight a page from history—or better yet a lesson from history–might be in order. Here then is a story about United States Senator Hubert Humphrey who was a political adversary to President Richard Nixon.
As the story goes: “Three days before Senator Humphrey died, Jesse Jackson visited him in the hospital. Humphrey told Jackson that he had just called Nixon. The Reverend Jackson, knowing their past relationship, asked Humphrey why. Here is what Hubert Humphrey had to say: ‘From this vantage point, with the sun setting in my life, all of the speeches, the political conventions, the crowds, and the great fights are behind me. At a time like this you are forced to deal with your irreducible essence, forced to grapple with that which is really important. And what I have concluded about life is that when all is said and done, we must forgive each other, redeem each other, and move on.’ At Hubert Humphrey’s funeral, we see next to Hubert’s beloved wife was former President Richard Nixon, a long time political adversary of Humphrey and a man disgraced by Watergate. Humphrey himself had asked Nixon to have that place of honor at his funeral.”