Friday, January 5

The Old Lion

When Theodore Roosevelt went to bed on the evening of January 5, 1919 at his home on Long Island, he was suffering from a particularly nasty bout of Malaria that had lingered throughout the holiday season. Nevertheless, he had put in a full day's work and was feeling better than he had in weeks. Late that night however, his breathing became particularly labored, aggravating the chronic Inflammatory Rheumatism that had plagued him since his great Amazon adventure four years earlier. By the early morning it was evident that he was in serious distress. Before the sun rose, he fell into unconsciousness, never to awaken.

His family wired the news, "The old lion is dead."

The world was stunned. He was not yet 61 years old but he was able to accomplish in those few years what most men could hardly expect to squeeze into a half dozen lifetimes. He seemed almost super-human in his energy and exploits.

He had served as a New York State Legislator, the Under-Secretary of the Navy, Police Commissioner for the City of New York, US. Civil Service Commissioner, the Governor of the State of New York, the vice-president under William McKinley, a Colonel in the US. Army, and two terms as the President of the United States. In addition, he had run a cattle ranch in the Dakota Territories, served as a reporter and editor for several journals, newspapers, and magazines, and conducted scientific expeditions on four continents. During his career he was hailed by supporters and rivals alike as the greatest man of the age--perhaps one of the greatest of all ages.

His passing was, not surprisingly, mourned all around the world.

5 comments:

Richard in Austin said...

Theodore Roosevelt has always been my favorite president. On this anniversary of his passing, I would like to encourage Dr. Grant's readers with TR's words:

"Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, that to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because the live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory or defeat."

The comfort that the gray twilight presents us is indeed no comfort at all. In fact, over time it becomes an empty gnawing cancer of longing for what should have, could have and would have been.

Here's to daring mighty things!

Here's to winning glorious triumphs!

Here's to staring failure in the face, picking ourselves up and charging forward in the calling the Lord has on each of our lives!!!

We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us!

Rich in Austin

Jen Rose said...

Thank you for reminding us that greatness has not be completely absent from the modern world. TR really was a great lion of a leader.

Suzi said...

Roosevelt remains the most admired American president around the world, excepting the mythic Washington and Lincoln. If only America, or any other nation for that matter, could produce the likes of him again.

Sira Birac said...

If only...

Raz Rybczynski said...

Roosevelt was also the first real pioneer of racial reconciliation. His good friend, Booker T. Washington, was the first African-American invited to eat in the White House. His courage still inspires.