This was the Corner post I didn’t want to have to write.
But we had to tell the world. The day to come would bring an outpouring of love. So many of you have a story about meeting him at an airport, bringing him to your college campus, reading and reading your favorite book of his, loving National Review because of him, or/and never missing an episode of Firing Line.
Some of the most remarkable stories were from sons who said his presence on Firing Line every week was the stable father figure in their lives. Others said his public discussion of his faith helped them discern their own vocations — including to the priesthood or religious life.
There was a passion and grace about Bill Buckley. He was the gracious teacher and generous man. I got here just in time to get to know him, and had the precious gift of seeing his tender heart.
This is all to say, six years to the morning he wrote his last words, thank you, WFB. We would not be here without you. I pray he rests in peace with the God he loved and served.
For anyone who didn’t know Bill, who is a relative newcomer to National Review, you might want to read this symposium we ran last year, on the fifth anniversary of his death. This is the editorial we published on this day in 2008. Here is Rich’s column. And here is Jonah’s. Want to start reading his books? Charles Kesler has advice on where to start. And there is more here and here and here and here. And there is so much more.