My wife, Barbara, the Hon. Consul of the Czech Republic and I, as Hon. Consul General of the Czech Republic, attended the Memorial for George Shultz at Stanford recently. It was truly a LIFE EXPERIENCE for Barbara and me.
Best, Richard Pivnicka
Absolutely incredible experience at George Shultz’s memorial last week with Charlotte Shultz surrounded by her extended family. Valet parking, dozens of fellow Marines in dress blues at the “front desk” pinning a magnetic bar on our jackets indicating we are official special guests,…”sir,” and ….. and escorting us to our pew (pew number 14,… pretty good) in the Stanford Memorial Church. . The California Governor, the First Partner, loads and loads of dignitaries, including Jim Baker, Jim Mattis, Henry Kissinger, Condi Rice, Jim Webb, Michael Boskin, Leon Panetta, John Hennessy (Apple/Stanford)—so many VIPs—but tellingly, lots of straight up State Dept and Princeton (GS’s undergrad), MIT (PhD), Chicago (Dean of the B School), Stanford (Hoover) people who had stayed in touch and continued to produce for and with George. WOW about Federika Von Stade, the opera singer–we were in line with her, and she looked like a sort of normal small scale attendee—then she casually walked to the front of the altar and sang an “Ave Maria” that gave us chills. The Marine Corps Band played Amazing Grace accompanied by the giant Stanford Memorial Church organ. The Corinthians was recited by the Shultz grandkids and great grand kids, and Secretaries of State Rice, Baker and Kissinger—and a final surprise walk on by Blinken, plus economist John Taylor and Marine General Mattis gave the Remembrances. With Bach, Beethoven and “America the Beautiful” playing on the grand organ. Kissinger said he talked to George every Sunday and they promised each other they would each speak at the other’s memorial. Kissinger said Geroge always keeps his promises and “the question at hand will be…. how will he do that.” Kissinger said of all the people he knew, he thought Geroge Shultz should have been President. What a program! We were then encouraged to walk out onto the Quad in front of the church and eat and drink (lots of food, full bars, tables with lots of linen and umbrellas) and a new combo was assembled to play. PLUS, a roaring, deafing, fly over by a Marine jet squadron that shook the ground! We got a chance to chat with Secretary of State Blinken and had a long substantive chat with Governor Newsom who was not, as usual, encircled by fans since he was one of the few high level Democrats attending that we recognized, besides Blinken, Panetta and Willie Brown. The coolest thing—General Mattis said that AROUND THE WORLD, Marines held the Marine equivalent of a 21 gun salute —a READY FIRE drill– in George’s honor. What a thing! Semper Fi for sure. God bless Geroge Shultz. Fantastic!We are dazzled and so happy to have been a part of this. – Richard and Barbara