Upon The Occasion of James L. Buckley’s 100th Birthday
By Gerard Kassar
Fifty-three years ago, the New York State Conservative Party shocked the political world by electing James L. Buckley to the United States Senate on the Conservative Party line alone, defeating both the Republican and Democratic Party candidates for the seat.
Following his time in the Senate, Mr. Buckley, a World War II Navy veteran (Pacific Theater), served as Undersecretary of State in the Reagan Administration, President of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty during the Cold-War 1980’s, and, later, as a U.S. Court of Appeals Justice for the D.C. Circuit, the nation’s second-most important court. He is the only known living American to have served in such senior capacities in all three branches of government.
Today, Mr. Buckley reaches a new milestone — his 100th birthday — and the Conservative Party thunderously applauds the occasion, as well as Mr. Buckley’s lifelong devotion to his country. It is as perplexing, as well as upsetting, to note on such a day that no public parklands, buildings, or structures to date have been named for this truly outstanding American.
Mr. Buckley, one of the Senate’s great conservationists, was crucial in strengthening the Federal Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, and, closer to home, was instrumental in creating New York’s and New Jersey’s Gateway National Recreation Area, which has been enjoyed by tens of millions of Americans. We are pleased to see that Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-C, Staten Island) has sponsored legislation to recognize Senator Buckley’s work in creating and maintaining Gateway. We urge bipartisan passage of her legislation this year in both the House and the Senate.
Jim Buckley has never stopped making the New York State Conservative Party proud. He is a genuine public treasure, and we salute him, not only on his 100th birthday, but for his goodness, devotion, and hard work. Happy birthday, Senator Buckley.
Gerard Kassar serves as the State Chairman of the New York State Conservative Party.