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Dedication of a Memorial to former U.S. Senator Barry M. Goldwater

Location: Paradise Valley, AZ

Saturday, Feb. 14, 2004
10:00 a.m.
Paradise Valley

I find it fitting to christen a memorial dedicated to the memory of the late Senator Barry Goldwater on Arizona Statehood Day. Senator Goldwater embodied all that Arizona represents, and I'm sure that he'd be happy to know that we are doing our very best to improve on the Arizona he loved his entire life.

Barry Goldwater was a living link to Arizona's territorial past, having been born three years before Arizona attained statehood. Born in Phoenix, Goldwater was the last U.S. senator to be born in a continental U.S. territory.

Senator Goldwater liked to say that his political philosophy was a product of his early years growing up on the frontier. As a result of his upbringing, he was never afraid to call things as he saw them - a trade that would become his political trademark.

Barry Goldwater never let fear of political repercussion sway him from following his own drumbeat, and on several occasions he used his clout to weigh in on behalf of Arizona's Native American population. At a time when their issues were not widely recognized, Barry provided critical leadership for our 21 Arizona Indian tribes. He even personally secured corporate funding to help restore the Tohono O'odham reservation's San Xavier Mission.

When asked by one of my predecessors to help form the Arizona Air National Guard, Senator Goldwater's reply was resolute and impassioned. Although he promised to form the Guard - a monumental task, even for a colossus like Goldwater - he would halt all progress at the first sign of discrimination. Furthermore, he vowed to organize the Air Guard in a way to ensure fair treatment of all.

Barry Goldwater was more than a senator who served decades in the U.S. Senate. He was more than a political icon for our state. Barry Goldwater was a man who loved his state and loved his people. He was a man of principles and a man of determination.

It is only proper to memorialize him with this statue in the town he called home, Paradise Valley. It is a fitting tribute to his legacy.

On that note, I'd like to extend my thanks to Mayor Edward Lowry and the Town of Paradise Valley for creating this beautiful Goldwater Memorial. What a wonderful 92nd birthday gift for Arizona. I'm sure Senator Goldwater would be proud of all you've done.

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