U.S. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon accepted the prestigious Keeper of the Flame award Tuesday night from the Center for Security Policy. The award was inaugurated in 1990 to bestow recognition on those individuals who devote their public careers to the propagation of democracy and the respect for individual rights throughout the world.
The award both acknowledges the past contributions of its recipients and reminds others who share their commitment to freedom of the work yet to be done. Prior honorees include Caspar Weinberger, Donald Rumsfeld, Senator Joe Lieberman, President Ronald Reagan, and other noted government and military officials.
McKeon (second from left) with Sen. Jon Kyl, Rep. Col. Allen West and Frank Gaffney.
“You all have honored me tonight with the Keeper of the Flame Award,” McKeon in his acceptance speech. “I thank you for that. But let’s never forget that as a Congress, we are just caretakers of the torch. This generation is the flame, the light, which will keep this country burning bright in the darkness of an uncertain world.
“I take it as my personal responsibility to ensure the troops and their families have the best training, equipment, and leadership in the world. That’s my pledge to them, and to you all this evening.
“I will always fight for those who fight for us. I will never let up, just as they never let up. I will fight to protect them just as they fight to protect us. I will always be on their side, just as they never leave our side.”
McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, represents California’s 25th Congressional District and serves as Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.