Today was my father's, Stephen Johnson, portrait unveiling (similar to the President's and First Lady's). He has served as EPA Administrator. At the end of the term, each administrator has a portrait done to hang in the EPA building. Each of the Presidential cabinet members have their portrait done as well.
A few other cabinet members attended the portrait unveiling: Secretary Elaine Chao from the Department of Labor, Secretary Mary Peters from the Department of Transportation and Secretary Samual Bodman from the Department of Energy. Family, friends and some of my father's staff joined in his office (it is a gigantic office) for the unveiling.
After a lot of pictures, we were ushered into a hall and seated for my father's goodbye speech with a room full of people and broadcast throughout the EPA. It was an emotional and a proud moment. He has enjoyed this position and has felt honored to serve the President and the country.
After the speech and more photos, we ate. The dining table was the EPA's conference room. This room is pretty new and no one has ever permitted drinks or food in but we were there today for the special occasion (with children, no pressure).
It was a surreal day; strange to see my father immortalized in a painting, realizing that this part of his journey has come to an end and that he actually was a member of the Presidential cabinet.
It has been surreal to see my father in this position: being with the President, meeting with world leaders, making decisions that effect our country...
It has been hard to hear the scrutiny about my father and the EPA (when we know that he is an honest man), members of Congress going for blood in hearings, people lobbying, the media reporting on their bias and only half truths if any at all.
Through it all my father has sot to find the best/right solutions; maintaining his composure, his humor, his humility and his faith.
Today was a day I want to treasure.