I have two favorite British Prime Ministers, one from recent history and a powerful example of a wartime leader, Sir Winston Churchill, and the other a leader in a time of peace, a stalwart example of conservative governance and the PM as I was growing up in the UK, Baroness Margaret Thatcher.
Forty nine years ago today, US President John F. Kennedy stood in the White House Rose Garden with members of Sir Winston’s family and said of Churchill, “He mobilized the English language and sent it into battle.”
The proclamation, recognizing the intimate bonds between our two nations, called Sir Winston a “son of America though a subject of Britain,” “a steadfast friend of the American people” who “freely offered his hand and his faith in days of adversity as well as triumph,” and whose “bravery, charity and valor, in both war and in peace, have been a flame of inspiration in freedom’s darkest hour.”
Sir Winston, aged 89 at the time, watched the ceremony later in the day at his home in London. He was deeply moved.
The British House of Commons also celebrated the event declaring their “deep appreciation of the sentiments which prompted this historical enactment.”