Henry Hyde (1924-2007) was my congressman. Yes, he was a
national figure to many. Indeed, I believe he was one of the most influential figures in
recent American political history. But to me he will always be “my congressman.”
He not only represented my
district in congress, and received my vote with deep pride every two years, but he
was a larger-then-life, but very human, hero too.
Hyde’s district did not always include my area of Illinois but in
redrawing the political district many years ago he became our congressman. I
was delighted! Whenever I saw him I felt a pride in knowing that this was the man who in some way spoke
for me in a powerful but graciously human way. You see Henry Hyde was not your ordinary political
figure. Nor was he always the mean conservative that many thought him to be. He was a man of the people, who always had time to care for the human person individually, and he was a man of highest moral character. (I know all about his
moral indiscretions, revealed during Clinton impeachment hearings to help defame him.