Editorial: Remembering a great man

Editorial: Remembering a great manNews Review file photo from 1992 show President George H. W. Bush during his appearance at Sequoia National Park. — Photos by Pat Farris and Bill Farris


The News Review joins the rest of the nation this week in mourning the loss of 41st President George Herbert Walker Bush.

Without fail, the many tributes to Bush’s character recognize his kindness. During his time as president he urged this country to be a kinder, gentler nation. This reminder, and call to a higher plane, could not come at a better time.

The many voices speaking out during this time are saying that our country is more divided now than at any other time in living memory. During my almost 90 years, I have only been in the presence of one President — and that was Bush 41.

On July 14, 1992, Bush, accompanied by an entourage that included Secretary of State James Baker and Congressman Bill Thomas, attended a ceremony in Sequoia National Forest.

Bush was honored by U.S. Forest Service officials with the dedication of a giant redwood, now adorned with a plaque bearing his name. The event took place in a remote location known as Freeman Grove, about 25 miles north of Johnsondale.

There were only about 200 in attendance, representing the state of California. I was honored to be among those. My son, Bill, and I represented the News Review. While standing within a few feet of the president, I strongly sensed being in the presence of greatness.

His humility was made evident as he emphasized the unique coexistence of man and nature. Standing beneath the towering redwoods, measuring about 225 feet and estimated between 2,000 and 3,000 years of age — he reminded the crowd that the tree was in existence when Christ walked on this earth. In his closing remarks he quoted a scripture from the Book of Revelation, “And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nation.”

This, for me, was an exceptional moment during my lifetime.

— Pat Farris, publisher

Story First Published: 2018-12-07