July 14, 2008

From the Desk of Phil Burress
President, Citizens for Community Values

Citizens’ E-Courier:  July 14, 2008
Statement on the Loss of Tony Snow

By now all of you, I’m sure, have heard that Tony Snow, the beloved conservative columnist and Fox News commentator who served for 17 months as President Bush’s press secretary, died this past Saturday, July 12, 2008.

Over the weekend many notable persons, so much more articulate than I, have eulogized the young (only 53 years) political pundit who was so liked and respected by all who knew him or worked with him, regardless of their political views.  I shall not vie with their eloquent tributes.

I must take a moment to express, however, the personal loss that all of us at CCV feel.  Not that we knew him all that well, actually.  But having been raised in Cincinnati – his family moved here from Berea, Kentucky when Tony was only two – and graduated from Princeton High, just around the corner from our office in Sharonville, Tony had a special place in our hearts.

I heard him speak most recently at the 2006 FRC Action Values Voter Summit.  Already well into his bout with colon caner, Tony spoke with such enthusiasm about his White House experience, and expressed how fortunate he was to have been born in the U.S.A. and to have had the opportunity to work with folks for whom he had such respect.

I remember also one of the first times that I heard Tony speak in person – as the keynote speaker at our own 2001 Partnership Banquet.  The address, itself, was memorable, and I’ll relish my cassette recording.  But what I recall most vividly about Tony’s participation in our event was that several weeks later he took time from his demanding schedule to call me at home – to inquire whether we had met our banquet goals and to get an update on our projects.  He genuinely cared.

Even at the height of his career, or in the throes of his consuming illness, he never lost his compassion, his professionalism, or his contagious sense of wonder.

We give thanks for the way he touched our lives, as we lift up in prayer his wife, Jill, his three children, and their extended family.

A CCV friend sent this link to Tony’s May 2007 Commencement Address at Catholic University.  It’s vintage Tony.  Enjoy!