January 8 will be a great day for the people of my native Nebraska, but it will be even more special for the Ricketts family. On that day, my son Peter will be inaugurated as the state’s 40th Governor. As you might imagine, his mother and I, as well as his sister and brothers – not to mention, of course, his wife and children, and all his nieces, nephews, and in-laws – couldn’t be prouder.
Marlene and I raised our children not only to be self-reliant and hard-working, but also to believe in the importance of public service. Peter embodies these qualities, as do his siblings – all of whom, I am happy to say, have made contributing to their communities a central part of their lives.
It’s fashionable these days to deride public service as a discredited enterprise, and Lord knows the behavior of too many of our so-called political leaders in recent years has been nothing short of disgraceful. But the ideas that made America what it is today – the founders’ commitment to freedom and justice and the notion that the only limitations on how high a person can rise should be those set by his or her own intelligence, grit, and willingness to work – all involve a sense of responsibility not just to ourselves and our families, but to the larger communities in which we live. So if we’re going to keep this country great, we can’t give up on public service.
I’m proud of Peter, not simply for running a fine campaign and winning an election, but for all the work he’s done and will be doing in the years to come on behalf of his fellow Nebraskans. I think Nebraska will benefit from the wisdom and character of Governor Peter Ricketts.
Congratulations Peter, I’m very proud of you!