The Giants of My Youth are Nearly Gone

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My favorite cat’s name was Buckley.  The cat was nothing like my hero, but he crawled into my heart, settling there as snuggly and permanently as my hero did into my mind and soul.

Reagan, Thatcher, and William F. Buckley Jr.  That my children were privy to such greatness.

A woman called Rush Limbaugh today as I left work to grab a hotdog and soda for lunch at the near-by QuikTrip.

“Rush,” she said, “I went out to my mailbox to get my issue of National Review–it was there–then I heard your opening monologue . . .”

_My God, _I thought.  William F. Buckley died.  Some things you must hear; others you intuit.

I thought it would never happen.  Buckley dying, I mean.

When I came home on my first leave from the Navy, my sister, Sue, told a story to a small group who’d gathered to welcome me home.  Sue told us she had been talking to our mom about a great new television show called “Family Ties.”

“I told Mom that this kid reminds me of Bill,” Sue said.   “His dad told his mom, ‘I’m worried about Alex–he sleeps with a poster of William F. Buckley over his bed.'”

“Mom said, ‘Sue, come here.’  She took me upstairs to Bill’s room, and there was a picture of Buckley right above his bed!”

Buckley is, was, and always will be the human being I’d most like to become.  I started watching ‘Firing Line’ in 1978 when I was in 8th grade.  I received a subscription to National Review for my matriculation into high school.  I encourage my boys to look first to the Church, then to Buckley, when deciding the best way to think, to act, to pray, to write, to vote, to praise, to attack, to live.

Eternal rest grant unto him, o Lord, and may Your perpetual light shine upon him.  May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Now, please read the rest of the blogosphere.  I dare to say that every blog linked from this one reflects the copious love we on the right hold for our dearly departed founder.  He left us well.  May we advance his great cause with the dignity, certainty, and success by which he launched us.

John McCain writing on

With Bill’s passing, freedom has lost one of its greatest defenders. Bill was a great American who helped change the course of history. When conservatism was a lonely cause, he bravely raised the standard of liberty and led the charge to renew the principles and values that are the foundation of our great country.

And from Mark Steyn, same source:

it’s still hard to believe there’ll be no more Buckley columns on this week’s news, and next week’s and next month’s, and hard not to feel cheated that we were denied a nonagenarian Buckley sailing on in vigorous health toward his next century. I liked the way Rich put it at the 50th anniversary gala, after the announcement of some highly technical-bureaucratic change in Bill’s title or responsibilities: “This is still Bill Buckley’s National Review, and it will always be Bill Buckley’s National Review.” Just so.

Hell, just go read them all on NRO.

Then view this video [click].

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