Sunday, May 1, 2011
Last night, Governor Palin spoke at Heroic Media's "Heroes Among Us" fundraiser dinner. As always, she defended the pro-life message and stressed the importance of having a culture that promotes the worth of all life--including the unborn. The Governor shared her own story and her daughter Bristol's story, for they are examples of how to handle less than ideal circumstances. Being in attendance personally, I was able to witness again the respect that she receives by those who know that she not only talks the talk, but she has been walking this walk.
At the start of her speech, she thanked those who support groups like Heroic Media, stating that our commitment to life makes us part of the solution rather than the problem.
Upon learning that she was pregnant with a child with Down Syndrome, she said, she went through an array of emotions which led her to rely on God's strength, Who said He would not give us any more than we can handle, yet she remembers saying to God, "I think you over-estimated me this time!" She spent her pregnancy, she so transparently shared, crying out for God's miraculous touch.
The moment Trig was born, as he melted in her arms, she knew God had answered her prayers. He changed her world then, and he continues to inspire, as she watches him greet every day with applause--literally. "Trig is the light of our life," she said.
She then shared Bristol's story--yes, less than ideal circumstances once again, but Bristol found strength to do the right thing. Both mother and daughter embraced life, believing in God's strength--and not taking counsel from those who choose to believe that women are not strong enough to handle the challenges they face. "Choosing life may not be the easy path, but it is the right path," she declared.
Contrast this to Planned Parenthood, which the Governor called out for all its corruption and dedication to abortion. Planned Parenthood, she said, doesn't show other options. "What they offer is not real choice." She went on to state that the federal government has no business subsidizing such an organization, particularly when we have a major fiscal problem on our hands. America gives $1,000,000 taxpayer dollars to them every day, and Governor Palin emphatically said, she doesn't want her money paying for the abortion of a child. We will not stop until not one cent goes to Planned Parenthood and funding abortion, she vowed.
She spoke at length about Lila Rose, whom she presented with the Heroes Among Us Award. Governor Palin praised Lila for being passionate about life, for exposing Planned Parenthood for its illegal activities, and for fearlessly speaking out on this issue. She compared Lila's work to that of human rights activism. "She's using her voice to defend the voiceless," the Governor said. Unlike what you hear in the media, Governor Palin is not intent on making herself the focus. Much--if not most--of her speech was dedicated to praising this young woman whom she respects greatly.
Upon receiving the award, Ms. Rose immediately called attention to Governor Palin's own heroism, stating that she is a hero to all women. Heroic Media defines a hero as "someone who makes great personal sacrifices for the benefit of others." Yes, both Governor Palin and Lila Rose qualify.
After speaking, the Governor remained for photographs in a separate location, and was most gracious as people shared their stories, thanked her profusely, and asked for autographs.
The night was not yet over, however, as the Palins entered the lion's den. The White House Correspondents' Dinner was last night also, and there were several afterparties. Those who say Governor Palin is afraid of the lamestream media or will only talk to Fox News haven't a clue. She mingled with those who routinely misrepresent her and attack her family, and she did so with incredible style and grace.
The first stop was the French Ambassador's residence for the Vanity Fair White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) Dinner Afterparty. Click here to see a picture of Governor Palin; Todd Palin; John Coale, Greta Van Susteren's husband; and me at the party.
The next stop was the Italian Embassy for the MSNBC bash. The story here, of course, was Rachel Maddow--of all people--greeting Governor Palin and serving her a diet coke after all the bashing and beating she does of her on the air. It amazes me how differently people react when they encounter the Governor face to face.
Into the lion's den she went, and the crowd gathered around her. Everyone--and I do mean everyone--wanted an introduction, a word with her, a picture. Some would say she shouldn't give some of these people the time of day after their treatment of her and her family, but that's not who is she. She represented herself as the public servant and gracious individual she is.
It was a night to remember.
All pictures by Adrienne Ross:
Update: More photos here at Getty Images.