My dad, Richard, grew up the son of first and second generation Jewish immigrants who came to America seeking freedom and opportunity. He helped his parents make ends meet by working for a dry cleaner, selling encyclopedias, and cooking fried clams and onion rings at Revere Beach.
He excelled at Tufts and went on to graduate first in his class from Harvard Law School. Before he started his second year at Harvard, he enlisted in the Army, wanting to give back to the country that had given him so much. His scholastic achievements earned him a clerkship for Supreme Court Justice Frankfurter and later a position as special counsel to the Legislative Oversight Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives. There he uncovered the corruption at the Twenty One quiz show and helped restore trust in our broadcasting system.
His progressive values and ability to be a force for change caught the attention of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, for whom he acted as a special advisor and speechwriter. In both administrations, he fought for social justice by working to pass the civil rights act, the voting rights act and Medicare. When he felt that the misguided Vietnam War was draining the attention and resources that should be focused on domestic issues, he resigned his position in the White House, standing up to power during a time of great turmoil and unrest.
My brothers and I loved hearing about our father's journey from the boardwalk at Revere Beach to the West Wing. He taught us that a meaningful life is one spent in service to something greater than oneself. That lesson guided my decision to enlist in the military after September 11th and has inspired my run for state Senate now.
My dad helped to make me the man I am today, and so on this Father’s Day, please join me in thanking fathers everywhere who inspire us, teach us to give back, and stand up for what’s right.
Happy Father’s Day!