As you are all aware I am very politically active. This is, in part, due to the grave injustices my father suffered under German domination during World War II. He spoke often of what it was like to be robbed of all freedoms, even the ability to walk from one block to another required permission or certain death awaited. He grew up in a socialist country, Holland, and one of the brightest moments of his life is the day he became an American citizen. Privileged to have such a father, I grew up understanding the great rights, privileges and responsibilities we have as an American people.
Secondly, I am descended of a long line of patriots who came to this country long before she was formally organized. I have ancestors and family who have fought in every single war up to, and including, the War on Terror. From there comes a fierce sense of possession and pride that my family helped carved and protect this nation and I would be doing my ancestors a great disservice if I did not do all I could to preserve this nation they fought and died so valiantly for . . . America is a shining beacon on a hill, an ensign to the nations, as it were. We stand for freedom. We stand for life. We stand for hope. We stand for a belief in a God who loves all peoples of all nations, kindred, tongues and people.
For this reason, I beseech all within reach of my voice and written word to pick up your patriotism, dust it off and stream to the polls tomorrow by the millions. At that time, I ask you to vote your conscience.
A vote for economic freedom and stability is a vote for Mitt Romney.
A vote for the eradication of illegal immigration and secure borders is a vote for Mitt Romney.
A vote for a Commander in Chief who will lead our nation through this war with wisdom, strength, courage and belief in God is a vote for Mitt Romney.
A vote for a man used to saving failing companies and organizations, familiar with the inner workings of the American and World economies is a vote for Mitt Romney.
A vote for life of our unborn children is a vote for Mitt Romney.
A vote for freedom of dependence on foreign oil is a vote for Mitt Romney.
A vote for a brighter future guided by a principled man is a vote for Mitt Romney.
With all the fervor in my heart and noble heritage I carry, I beg of you to cast a vote for conservatism, for hope and for a bright future. Vote for Mitt Romney.
Today, I'd like to share a story written by the Boston Globe about Mitt Romney. The pictures were provided by a number of people.
The mission began in June 1966 in Salt Lake City, where Romney gathered with hundreds of other new missionaries for a week of study and prayer at the mission training center. The men were generally 19 years old, and the women 21; a handful of older couples also volunteered to serve. The missionaries were heading all over the nation and the world. Romney was among about eight who departed for France on July 4, 1966.
The main task of missionaries was to teach people about Mormonism, in the hope that they would choose to convert. The most common method of travel for the missionaries was the bicycle, and many of the missionaries in France rode motorized bikes.
Romney, like other missionaries, got a new assignment every few months; he started in Le Havre, but spent a fair amount of time in southern France, where he became a zone leader, responsible for overseeing a group of missionaries. Here, he is part of a group assembled outside the Mormon chapel in Talence, a suburb of Bordeaux.
The missionaries would occasionally get a chance to meet prominent church leaders, who would visit to give a motivational talk. While Romney was in Bordeaux, he met Howard W. Hunter, who held the high rank of apostle in the Mormon church. Hunter later became president of the church.
The missionaries to France were drawn from throughout the United States and Canada, and were allowed one day a week for ''diversions,'' which included errands and sightseeing. Romney is fourth from the left.
Romney and the other missionaries would often visit with local Mormons; the community was quite small in the 1960s.
The French mission tracked how well missionaries were doing, and published statistics each week in a newsletter called the Conversion Diary. The newsletters show that Romney was often at the head of the pack in the number of Books of Mormon he distributed, the number of hours he spent knocking on doors, and the number of invitations he received to come back to talk with prospects.
In May 1968, France was paralyzed by a general strike sparked by student protests. The missionaries faced a number of challenges -- no mail, no gasoline -- but chief among them was difficulty cashing checks sent from their parents, because banks were closed. Romney led a group of missionaries into Spain to find an open bank.
In spring 1968, Romney moved to the French mission headquarters, a grand building in the tony 16th arrondissement of Paris. The building is now the embassy of the United Arab Emirates.
In Paris, Romney served as assistant to the president, the highest office for a missionary. Romney worked for the mission president, H. Duane Anderson.
As an assistant to the president, Romney would accompany Anderson on his visits to the various church branches, and on June 16, 1968, Romney drove Anderson and his wife, along with a French Mormon couple and another missionary, to visit a congregation in Pau. On the way back to Bordeaux, they were in a tragic accident on this spot in the village of Bernos-Beaulac, south of Bazas.
The car Romney was driving, a Citroen DS, was hit head-on by a Mercedes driven by a priest. Romney's car was totaled, and all six occupants were injured, one fatally.
The injured were transported by ambulance to Bazas Hospital for treatment; Romney's father, Michigan Governor George Romney, sent over an American physician who was married to Mitt's sister to oversee the care.
Romney sustained a closed head injury, a fractured forearm, and significant bruising in the accident. He was briefly thought to have died in the accident, but recovered after a few days in the hospital.
Duane Anderson, the mission president, was more seriously injured, with multiple broken ribs.
Suzanne Farel was riding in the back seat of the car and survived; she still lives in Bordeaux.
Leola Anderson, the wife of Duane Anderson, was killed in the crash. Duane Anderson returned to the United States to bury his wife and seek medical treatment for himself; in France, a memorial service was held for "Sister Anderson."
Back at the mission home, Romney took on new responsibility helping to oversee the mission while President Anderson was in the United States.
Some of the French Mormons whom Romney met still remember him fondly. They have followed his career on television, and in some cases have stayed in touch.
In the late 1960s, Romney and other missionaries would often dine at the home of French Mormons; here, they are at the Bordeaux home of Paulette and Andre Salarnier. Paulette, who is from Brittany, specialized in making crepes distinctive of the region, called galettes. Andre Salarnier was the caretaker of the first Mormon chapel in Bordeaux.
Paulette and Andre Salarnier now live in Brittany. In an interview this year, Andre Salarnier recalled, "he was a young boy that was always smiling, very nice, very open, always giving. Whenever he was anywhere he would step outside the group and go to each person to say hello. There were other Americans who didn't speak French as well as he did, and were always on the defensive. No matter what, they always came to the house to eat crepes and galettes all the time."
Marie-Blanche and Jean Causse were also friendly with Romney in the late 1960s; they had been converted by American missionaries in the early '60s.
Today, the Causses live outside Bordeaux; in an interview in April, Marie-Blanche Causse said, "I remember that I knew that he was a son of the governor of Michigan. I remember thinking that he would go far, himself, in politics, or that he would be some kind of leader." Jean Causse added, "he had a personality that was above average for the other missionaries. Usually the missionaries that are 18, 19 years old stay in their corners, they don't speak good French, and you have to approach them, they're a little timid, but Mitt Romney had a personality that was good. He was very comfortable communicating with others.''
After 30 months in France, Romney left Paris just before Christmas 1968. He had arrived as one among many, but departed as a leader, returning home to complete his undergraduate work at Brigham Young University, to marry his girlfriend, Ann, and to launch his careers in business and politics.
In addition, there was another great article in the Globe, also entitled The Making of Mitt Romney, just as the above one was, but it takes you through every aspect of his life. I liked it.
The hope of our nation lies in the the results of the primaries tomorrow. I beg of you to consider whether you wish to throw the Constitution of the United States to the dogs and vote for John McCain or Mike Huckabee, or vote for a true federalist, Mitt Romney, who believes we should defend that Constitution at all costs, treasure and fight for this nation bought and paid for with the sweat, blood and tears of patriots from the very beginnings of America.