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Citizen Voices

Hugging Across the Aisle

Trina Boice with Tom Lantos The moment I met Congressman Tom Lantos   I immediately adored him.  It was my first day as an intern in his Washington D.C. office and the entire staff was whirling around the reception desk in an effort to get a bunch of letters signed, stamped and delivered in less than an hour.  Everyone dropped what they were doing to pitch in, including the boss.  My first impression was that this great man was a real team player who was willing to do whatever it took to get the task done, even if it meant kneeling on the floor with the lowly intern to lick envelopes and stamps.

Tom Lantos died Monday morning after a six-week struggle with cancer, surrounded by his beautiful wife and family. If you were one of the lucky ones to receive his annual family letter and photo then you know how crowded that room was!  He was a true family man.  His wife, Annette, graciously took me under her wing while I was in Washington D.C. and kept me supplied with invitations to all kinds of banquets, receptions and events where I could eat for free and stretch my poor student budget while hob nobbing with the politically powerful.

February 14, 2008 at 11:34 PM
Wow, he sounds like he was a truly inspirational man... Thank you for sharing this with us.


Alma from San Diego
February 15, 2008 at 01:48 AM
What's amazing to me is hearing how his impact on your life at that moment in time still carries meaning today. When someone's relevance goes beyond the now, with its immediacy, those people's value grows through the memory of people who knew them. In my life, those people usually have been older family members, like my great-grandmother growing up. It's a gift to have seen how life can be lived in that meaningful way, especially with those to whom we are not beholden, like our families. Although he's passed, your memories and those of others who knew him, will continue to enrich those who did not. Thank you for passing along his legacy Trina. Wonderfully written piece.