Senator Rubio's Hero
Senator Rubio’s grandpa lived with him most of the time when he was growing up.
This is what Senator Rubio says about him.
"My grandfather was born in 1899. He was born to an agricultural family in Cuba.
He was stricken with polio when he was a very young man, he couldn’t work the fields, so they sent him to school. He was the only member of his family that could read. And because he could read. He got a job at the local cigar rolling factory. They didn’t have radio or television, so they would hire someone to sit at the front of the cigar factory and read to the workers while they worked.
So, the first thing he would read every day, of course, was the daily newspaper. Then he would read some novel to entertain them. And then, when he was done reading things he actually went out and rolled the cigars because he needed the extra money. But through all of those years of reading, he became extremely knowledgeable about history, not to mention all the classics.
He loved to talk about history. My grandfather loved being Cuban. He loved being from Cuba. He never would have left Cuba if he didn’t have to. But he knew America was special. He knew that without America Cuba would still be a Spanish colony. He knew that without America the Nazis and Imperial Japan would have won World War II. When he was born in 1899 there weren’t even airplanes. By the time I was born, an American had walked on the surface of the moon.
And he knew something else. He knew that he had lost his country. And that the only thing from preventing other people in the world from losing theirs to communism was this country – this nation.
It is easy for us who are born here – like me – and so many of you, to take for granted how special and unique this place is. But when you come from somewhere else, when what you always knew and loved, you lost, you don’t have that luxury.
My Grandfather didn’t know America was exceptional because he read about it in a book. He knew about it because he lived it and saw it with his eyes....
Being an American is not just a blessing, it’s a responsibility. As we were commanded to do long ago, 'Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven'....
Being a light to the world, that’s not just our common history, it remains our common destiny."