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President George H.W. Bush Embodied a Lifelong Commitment to Country

In 2012, as Chair of the National Lieutenant Governs Association (NLGA) I led a bipartisan delegation to Germany that included Lieutenant Governors: Kim Reynolds from Iowa, John Sanchez from New Mexico, Elizabeth Roberts from Rhode Island, and Greg Francis from the U.S. Virgin Islands. The trip was sponsored by the Frederic Neumann Foundation, which works to strengthen transatlantic relationships between the United States and Germany. Germany is the United States sixth largest trading partner. The Foundation regularly brings together business and government leaders from the two countries in an effort to build relationships and seek out mutually beneficial policies and opportunities.

 In Central Massachusetts there are several Germany companies with significant manufacturing operations in the region. Additionally, several area manufacturers also have operations in Germany as well.

 This past weekend, I attended a Naumann Foundation Conference in St. Petersburg, Florida. On Sunday, before our panel discussion, our host Claus Gramckow started our session with a tribute to U.S. President George H.W. Bush, acknowledging the critical role he played in facilitating the historic reunification of Germany in 1989 – 1990, which began when the Berlin Wall came down. This was no small accomplishment as President Bush had to convince a weary British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, and French President, François Mitterrand, that a united democratic Germany was the right thing to do notwithstanding two costly World Wars between these nations. Moreover, President Bush was able to work with West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and the Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, to free East Germany from the Soviet Union’s grip. Several years ago, my father, forever the history teacher, gave me a copy of Jon Meacham’s biography of the 41st President, Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush. The book provides an outstanding account that validates how pivotal a role President Bush played in uniting Germany after the Berlin Wall fell.

The other item in Meacham’s book that brought back a personal memory involved baseball. President Bush attended Yale, following his service as a navy pilot in World War II, and played for the Yale baseball team, where he was the captain. Meacham’s book tells the story how his young wife Barbara Bush would attend many of these games.

Sometime in 1993 – 1994, my friend Tom Gibbons secured two tickets to a Red Sox game behind the visitors’ dugout. The Red Sox were playing the Texas Rangers. Shortly after the game started several large Boston Police Department motorcycle officers, followed by several plain clothed officers appeared around our seats. Moments later President Bush and Barbara Bush walked out to the Rangers dugout to take their seats several rows in front of us. It appeared that Barbara Bush was keeping a box score of the game. At one point between innings, President Bush was informed that his presence would be announced over the Fenway Park public address system. He replied, looking at his wife, “They will probably boo me.” Moments later, when President Bush was welcomed to Fenway, he received a very warm reception by the crowd and commented, “Well that was a pleasant surprise,” glancing at his wife with a smile.

 Political differences aside, there were many things to admire about President Bush’s service to the United States. His 70 years of public service began with his service as an 18-year-old Navy pilot who experienced combat during World War II and ended as President. Hopefully, as President Bush is remembered and laid to rest, perhaps we can contemplate ways and take actions that serve our country and communities in a fashion that make us the “kinder, gentler nation” he aspired for us.



A New Rail Nexus for Worcester, Metrowest, and Boston Commuters


Former Transportation Secretary wrote this nice article about an event I attended this past week with Governor Patrick, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Secretary Davey, and others to announce the redevelopment of the Beacon Park Yard in Boston, which includes construction of a new West Station.

The historic acquisition of track ownership from CSX across the state was about expanding commuter rail service between Worcester and Boston as well as unlocking development and transportation opportunities for the entire state.

I want to thank Governor Patrick for allowing me to lead the state team in our negotiations with CSX and thank all of the partners who assisted in the success of this complex deal. As a result we will create thousands of new jobs, a better transportation system, a healthier environment and improved quality of life for Massachusetts residents.

allston-rail-station-tim-murrayRead the full article written by former Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Mullan here.

Marathon Memories

Today, as my wife Tammy prepares to run her third marathon, and all of us in the Commonwealth mark this momentous day, I want to share these memories from the events of last year…

“But deliver us from evil”

One year ago I was stripping wallpaper on a rare day off from duties as Lt. Governor when I received the call from a staff member to let me know there had been several explosions at the Boston Marathon finish line. The staffer speculated it might be a gas related event, but my immediate fear was that it was something far more sinister given it was Patriot’s Day and the location of the blasts. I quickly cleaned up and drove to the MEMA Bunker in Framingham to meet my state police detail.

As I drove to Framingham I recalled an event earlier in our Administration when electronic devices that looked like explosives were attached to bridges in the Boston area. We were criticized by some in the Boston media at the time for overreacting to what turned out to be a hoax. But, on this day we would soon learn that the explosions at the Marathon were not a hoax but evil in our midst.

Upon my arrival at the MEMA Bunker, I was briefed by state officials and spoke with Governor Patrick by telephone as officials in Boston worked to treat the injured, secure the scene and determine if more attacks were imminent. At the Bunker multiple TV screens on the massive underground wall simultaneously ran news feeds while personnel from various local, state and federal agencies gathered information over dozens of phones and deployed resources in response to the carnage and the still unknown threat.

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Vocational-Technical Education Works

Voke map pic

I am proud to have helped create this program as Lieutenant Governor. The first round response was phenomenal with many applicants. It underscores the equipment needs of our vocational technical schools. We need to train our students on modern equipment that they will use in the private sector.

Please be an advocate for vocational technical education by speaking with your School Committee, State Representative, State Senator, Congressman and candidates for Governor. We need to support and open up these schools so they are 18 hour a day educational/workforce training grounds.