“My warmest sympathy and best wishes for your recovery.” These were the last six written words of former President Herbert Hoover. They were written to his friend, former President Harry Truman. These two, political opponents, from different parties, had formed a friendship that transcended politics.
When Herbert Hoover left office, he was perhaps one of the most unpopular men ever to exit the presidency. Yet, in 1946, because of his experience with Germany at the end of the First World War, Truman asked him to help to determine the food needs of occupied Germany. Hoover’s initiative led to a program that served 3,500,000 children.
This wasn’t the last role President Truman asked the former President’s help with. These requests help to rebuild Hoover’s reputation. The friendship was not one sided however. When President Truman left office, and experienced financial struggles, a financial package was offered to former Presidents by Congress, knowing Truman’s struggle.
Hoover did not need the money, but he accepted as to not embarrass Truman. This act, saved President Truman from financial embarrassment. These two men remained friends for the rest of their perspective lives.
Life is made up of friendships, not all as famous as these two men, but just as vital. I received a text from a friend today, just checking on us. That text meant more to me than he knew, just as these two men meant more to each other than their differences of opinion.