Last week marked a sad anniversary at The Concord Coalition. On Jan. 18, 1997, former U.S. senator and Concord Coalition co-founder Paul E. Tsongas passed away.
Twenty years later, his example and vision continue to guide us.
Upon his death, The Concord Coalition issued a statement about him and his legacy that we republish below.
"The death of Paul Tsongas will be deeply felt by every member of The Concord Coalition family. His leadership inspired many of us first in his 1992 presidential campaign, and later as co-founder of The Concord Coalition. He represented the best qualities in leadership - integrity, courage, commitment, compassion, and the good grace to take himself less seriously than the policies he advocated.
"With his death, some will inevitably wonder whether the work of The Concord Coalition will go on. But no one who had the privilege of knowing Paul Tsongas could have any doubt as to the answer. Of course it will.
"Paul Tsongas often spoke of legacies. To him, the work of The Concord Coalition went well beyond the tactical goal of balancing the federal budget. He was much more concerned with the larger purpose of restoring generational responsibility to our public policies.
"In A Call To Economic Arms, Paul Tsongas wrote: 'Facing our challenges forthrightly is how we honor the labors of our forbearers. It is our moral imperative. But more importantly, it is the source of our hope. We are a blessed America. It is our will and determination that will deliver us. Let us, again, unleash the spirit of the American people and again secure our future and the future of our descendants.'
"The highest honor we in The Concord Coalition can pay to the life of Paul Tsongas is to carry on with our work. He cannot be replaced, and he will not be forgotten. But as he often remarked with great pride, ‘The Concord Coalition has taken on a life of its own.’ He is right. The Coalition will carry on as one of Paul Tsongas' many lasting legacies to the American people."
For more on the life and legacy of Paul Tsongas see this article in the Lowell Sun.