``We have more in common than divides us.'' Text of Gov. Parris N. Glendening's inaugural address INAUGURATION OF GOVERNOR GLENDENING

January 19, 1995

Mr. [Senate] President, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Attorney General, Madame Treasurer, Mr. Comptroller, Chief Judge, my very, very favorite lieutenant governor in the whole world, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend -- Kathleen come on up here for a second -- members of the General Assembly with whom I look forward to working very closely, members of Congress that have joined us here today, honored guests, my family, my friends and all Marylanders:

Thank you for joining us on this very, very happy day. My wife, Frances Anne, and my son, Raymond, join me as I stand here today to accept the challenge and the privilege to serve as the governor of our great state.

There is, I might say -- and it's, it's unfortunate that with the weather you can't see it -- but there is over here an empty chair with a rose on that chair. That chair is our symbolic remembrance of our parents: Frances Anne's father, former Sen. George Hughes, and her wonderful mother, Pat. It is also in remembrance of my parents, Raymond and Jean Glendening.

Unfortunately, none of them are with us any longer. But we are absolutely certain that they are here in spirit, and that they are smiling on us as we share this great day together. We have loving, warm memories of our parents. Frances Anne often speaks of her mother's strength, determination and commitment family. She has often said that the song "The Wind Beneath My Wings" reminds her of her mother. Her mother really was her hero.

'My hero'

Frances Anne, would you come up here for a moment? I just want to say publicly that you are indeed my hero. And I say that because, as most of you who know her know, she has been "content to let me shine." You are content today while "I am the one with all the glory." I will tell you without any hesitation, "I can fly higher than an eagle, because you are the wind beneath my wings." I thought at this time, rather than just the traditional presenting of flowers, that I would like to present you with a song that is dedicated to you.

(Song: "The Wind Beneath My Wings")

Ladies and gentlemen, my absolutely wonderful wife, and the first lady of Maryland.

Now, Raymond, I know you hate this, but come on up here a second.

(Raymond: You're not going to do the same thing to me, are you?)

Raymond, I just want to say publicly -- but I think you know -- that your mother and I are very, very proud of you as well. We are proud that you are an honor student at DeMatha and just doing tremendously well. And part of the DeMatha contingent is right here. Let's hear it for DeMatha. Also on the school's baseball team. And we are proud and really blessed that you've been a wonderful son. I will tell you as well, the first young person in Government House in well over a generation. And when he and his friends were running through the halls there this morning, I'm not sure anyone knew what to make of it. But, Raymond, we're proud of you, too.

You know, the rose, the empty chair and the song speak very clearly of family. They are symbolic of the legacy and values one generation passes to another. And they are symbolic of how caring and compassion can lead to lives of responsibility and respect.

Today we reach beyond our personal family to the family of Maryland -- people of all ages, all colors, all backgrounds. We look to those who came before us. Most particularly Governor Schaefer, who embodied, not only for Maryland but also for the nation, the notion that government service can be driven by compassion for people. Our state, our well-being, has been his life's work.

We also look to former Gov. Harry Hughes, whose dignified leadership led our state to focus on things that were really important, like our environment. And I would say as well to Governor Hughes, a personal friend not just to me, but of our extended family. And we look to former Gov. Marvin Mandel, who modernized Maryland's structure of government. Those three individuals are here with us today. Let us recognize them if we would.

For the past two years, I have traveled throughout the Free State and I have heard the voices of Maryland: the lathe operator in Cumberland struggling to make ends meet, the watermen of the Chesapeake who rise long before dawn to work the bay, the steel workers, shopkeepers, and entrepreneurs of Baltimore City, the federal employees who commute from Frederick, and the farmers in Kent County.

I have met them all. And they have given me a great gift. They have taught me that ordinary people can accomplish extraordinary things, that there are certainties in this uncertain world, and that sure as the next sunrise, the decent, hard-working people of Maryland will rise to meet the challenges before us.

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