Willie Breazell

The recent passing and many well-deserved tributes to former President George Herbert Walker Bush speaks to the greatness of a man who represented the best in America.

While he only served one term, in my view, he was our best qualified president in recent history. As we know our 41st President was honored by leaders from all walks of life from around the globe. He will be missed.

However, his legacy of giving and public service is alive and well in our community. As the chair of Buffalo Soldiers Memorial committee, our committee raised nearly $50,000 in a two-year campaign to build a tribute to these unsung warriors of the west.

More recently, as a Rotarian and current president of the Rotary Club of the Garden of Gods, and a board member of the Osborn Trust, we have donated thousands of dollars to worthy humanitarian focused nonprofit organizations across the both El Paso and Teller Counties. Many of our local service efforts are directed at the less fortunate in our backyard, so to speak and to those less fortunate in countries around the world.

As Rotarians we are involved in clean water projects, world literacy, International student exchange, and leadership development around the world.

Additionally, Rotarians volunteer year around in support of our public schools, as well as various nonprofit organizations, we are particular active in the holiday seasons.

Recently, while visiting with friends in local small business, I casually mentioned to the assembled patrons, my club would be bell ringing in support of the Salvation Army at the King Soopers location, on the west side, at the corner of Uintah and 17th Street, a gentlemen overhearing my remarks donated one crisp $100 bill.

A local businessman, he wanted to be the first to donate to our club efforts. The gentlemen also thanked me and my club members for the work we do in our community.

Yes, both the thanks and donation were totally unexpected. However, I think that represents the general nature of most Americans.

Our annual bell ringing as a community service has historically been met with positive public responses. That includes the management of the King Soopers location.

I am trying to speak to the well-documented kindness of President Bush and the generic flavor of Americans of all colors and creeds. We are kind and giving people, a legacy President George Herbert Walker Bush would be proud of now and in the future.

As we go forward as a nation let us not forget the less fortunate in our country and around the world.

Willie Breazell is a long-time community activist and retired Army officer.

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