I want to throw in my support for plans to build the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in Medora. Since that Eagles Monday Night Football game when Jon Gruden coined the phrase, “North Dakota tough,” in reference to Carson Wentz, and Forum sportswriter Jeff Kolpack picked up on that phrase in his book of the same name to introduce readers to a host of North Dakota athletes who embodied the phrase, I have been captivated by this depiction of the North Dakota spirit. And historically speaking, who better exemplifies North Dakota tough than Teddy Roosevelt.
A weakling as an adolescent, it was in North Dakota that Roosevelt found the bully lifestyle that became his trademark. In a time when many are concerned that young people need to reclaim the grittiness of previous generations, there are few better role models than Teddy Roosevelt.
I know it’s a large investment of money but building his presidential library in North Dakota will not only recognize the man, and teach important history, but also immortalize the spirit of toughness and grit for which he was known.
Among Roosevelt’s many inspiring quotes include the following, “Far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, then to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” Such courage is in demand in every generation, including the present one.