06/23/06 — Fitting tribute ... Sanford-Hunt dinners planned

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Fitting tribute ... Sanford-Hunt dinners planned

Since 1948, North Carolina’s Democrats have held their Jefferson-Jackson fund-raising dinners in Raleigh.

In 1960, they introduced the Vance-Aycock dinner honoring Gov. Zeb Vance and Wayne County’s own Charles Brantley Aycock.

This year, Democrats have come up with the Sanford-Hunt dinner to be held as a part of the state convention.

That affair honors the late Gov. Terry Sanford and former Gov. Jim Hunt.

Sanford served in World War II as a paratrooper and was honored for heroism during the Normandy invasion. His unit had parachuted behind German lines in the darkness before troops hit the beaches.

He returned home to give his Democratic Party a new burst of energy. His term as governor gave our state — and the South — a new and positive national image.

It was rumored that his friend, President John F. Kennedy, had great plans for Sanford — perhaps as head of the FBI or a Cabinet level position.

Any such plans died with President Kennedy in Dallas. But Terry Sanford went on to become a U.S. senator and to serve as president of Duke University.

Jim Hunt, of course, is one of the most admired, respected and loved governors in state history. He was the first to serve consecutive terms as governor and the only person to serve four terms in the Governor’s Mansion. He also served a term as lieutenant governor.

He continues to have enormous influence not only within the party but throughout the state; and he enjoys continuing national respect.

State Democratic Party Chairman Jerry Meek said Terry Sanford and Jim Hunt had been an inspiration to him. They undoubtedly have been inspirations to hundreds of thousands of others across our state — encouraging them to rise to higher levels of service to their party, to their communities, their state and nation.

Sanford-Hunt dinners will be a fitting tribute to two truly great citizens of our state.

Published in Editorials on June 23, 2006 11:10 AM