Senator Robert C. Byrd

Posted by Al Hathaway Monday, June 28, 2010

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once remarked, "that longevity has its place." In the case of West Virginia Senator Robert C. Byrd his longevity resulted in the longest tenure of a United States Senator. Viewed from any perspective his career was colorful, eventful, and controversial. I tend to view matters from my own lens and not the lens provided me by others. My son attended West Virginia University for eight years. He encountered an issue that needed the assistance of Senator Byrd. I contacted his office and the response was immediate. Senator Byrd's staff was on top of constituent service. The matter was resolved. Senator Byrd sent a letter confirming the actions taken and to contact him again if we ever needed assistance. That's one of my perspectives of Senator Byrd. The other perspective deals with his unique ability to bring the bacon home. As Chairman of the Senate Budget Appropriations Committee, he had the ability to place his favorite earmarks into legislation. He directed more funds to West Virginia's land grant college, The University of West Virgina, than any other Senator on behalf of their state's land grant college. His coup was landing the FBI forensic lab and locating it near WVU. As a result WVU has the foremost forensic science curriculum in the world. Students comes from all around the world to enroll in this program. My final perspective of Senator Byrd was his support for President Barrack Obama when he was a candidate for president. Some view Senator Byrd from his developmental stage and point to his affiliations and associations. He was a product of his times and region. What impresses me was his ability to change and develop rational and logical approaches to societal issues. He stands at the bar of God's judgement seat with an honorable long standing career of service to his country.

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