Burr Ridge mayor lauded for time and effort to recognize Lincoln

April 12, 2017 - Kevin Beese - Chicago Tribune

Burr Ridge Mayor Mickey's Straub's 50 Capitols trip is now a piece of American history.

U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, a Wheaton Republican, recently entered information about Straub's 2012 patriotic pilgrimage to honor President Abraham Lincoln into the Congressional Record.

Roskam was at the Village Board meeting April 10 to laud Straub for his efforts and to present him with a laminated copy of what the Wheaton congressman said on the House floor.

Straub drove to 48 state capitols and flew to the other two in 50 days, reciting Lincoln's Gettysburg Address at each capitol. Straub is the only person in history to hit the 50 capitols in 50 days to honor the country's 16th president, Roskam said.

"There is so much division and anxiety in public life today," Roskam said during his presentation, "but Mayor Straub lets people share their opinions. He is willing to lead and be an example … He is an example for young boys and girls."

He praised Straub for being a man of action.

"Thank you for courageously being willing to lead, not just by saying, but by doing," Roskam said. "Thank you for honoring the greatest American president."

Straub was aware that Roskam was coming to the meeting to recognize him, but was taken aback when Roskam presented what he read into the Congressional Record on Feb. 9.

"I am honored. I am speechless," Straub said. "I am totally shocked. This is a moment I will never forget."

Roskam noted that the historic trip was no easy task for Straub, citing that it cost him more than $20,000 and put numerous miles on the mayor's Lincoln Town Car, used as an added tribute to the 16th president.

Between Sept. 4 and Oct. 17, 2012, Straub logged nearly 15,000 miles on his journey. His trek began in Pennsylvania and included a brief ceremony in Gettysburg outside the house where Lincoln finished writing the historic address. Straub's journey ended in front of Lincoln's tomb in Springfield.

In his tribute to Straub on the House floor, Roskam said: "Mayor Straub has remained steadfast in his belief that the journey was a great success due to God and the American people, saying 'I launched this trip on behalf of God and country, but it was actually God and country that pulled me through. It started more about principals and patriotism, but it was the people who kept me going.'"