Speech to Leaders Congress about Inspiration & Museums.

US Capitol Statuary Hall

Congressional Statue Dedication Ceremony in honor of Thomas Alva Edison of Ohio.

Mister Speaker, Leader McConnell, Leader Pelosi, Speaker Rosenberger, Distinguished members of Congress, fellow Ohio Statuary Hall Commissioners and distinguished guests.

Today is the final act of a decade long endeavor to succeed Ohio’s Governor Allen statue, which has resided in this hall for 139 years with a statue of a son of Ohio, Thomas Edison.

Why? – Why does it matter whose image enshrines the National Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol?

Why does it matter that we have such a hall?

Why? – Because, inspiration matters.

This hall is an “Institution of Inspiration.” Its mission, like museums and historic sites around the world endeavor to inspire us to do better, to aim higher and to transform for good, the natural trajectory of our civilization.

In these halls, Thomas Edison inspires us as an inventor and businessperson and with his often repeated words, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

In the US Capitol there are over 100 statues of people who have altered the natural trajectory of our civilization like Edison.

In our time, Norman Borlaug, an Iowa biologist, humanitarian and Nobel laureate who saved a billion lives from starvation.

Each of them is an inspiration.

Beyond these halls, museums and history organizations seek to inspire by lifting up the stories of inspiring people who change our world for better.

In an era of fascination with personality and fixation upon the dramatic, inspiration matters.

Let us be investors in inspiration, investing our energy to tell the great stories of achievement in our nation and investing our resources in institutions of inspiration;

  • like, this Statuary Hall,
  • like, the new National Museum of African – American History and Culture and
  • like, all the museums and history organizations across our great nation.

Why? Because inspiration matters.

by Douglass W. McDonald, Ohio Statuary Hall Chair, Presented September 21, 2016 at Congressional Ceremony Commemorating the Dedication of a Statue of Thomas Alva Edison of Ohio

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