Letter: Honoring his memory
Shakespeare wrote: “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.” And so, I might paraphrase, let it be with Marty. Every man suffers personal failings during his life — failings that the press seems hell-bent on reminding us, at every convenient opportunity. However, a most basic sense of compassion and human decency requires us, after a man’s death, to politely overlook his imperfections, in order to respectfully highlight his achievements and honor his memory. Marty McGuane was a friend and mentor to me. From him I learned a great deal about his hometown: its politics, people, and history. I also learned how important it is to give back to one’s community. Marty’s record of volunteerism and public service continues to stand as a benchmark against which I measure my own service to my fellow man and my community. And so, I publicly extend my gratitude to Chairman Lewis Metaxis, and the members of the Greenfield Human Rights Commission, for their decision to select Marty McGuane as the first recipient of the Greenfield Human Rights Award. I know that he would have been very humbled and very proud to receive it.