Governor Bruce Rauner on Tuesday praised a World War Two veteran who's on a mission to meet every governor in America.
Rauner welcomed Sidney Walton to Springfield.
Since he's now confined to a wheelchair and speaks only a few words at a time, 99-year old Sidney Walton let his son, Paul, do most of the talking when he visited the Illinois State Capitol.
“And the reason you're enjoying Springfield so much, dad, is because, who is your favorite president? (Lincoln!) And he's not saying that to pander to the press,” Paul said.
While the family's website calls it a "National No Regrets Tour," it's actually the result of something Sidney Walton regrets not doing way back in 1941. With World War Two already underway, Sidney skipped a chance to meet a few surviving heroes of the American Civil War.
Now, as the last veterans of his own generation are slipping away, Sidney’s left his San Diego home, hoping to meet all 50 governors as well as youngsters, who could potentially carry that living memory into the 22nd century. Rauner, the 11th governor to greet Sidney, got on his knees to express his appreciation.
“You're part of the greatest generation...thank you for defending our democracy. God bless you,” Rauner said.
His son says Sidney Walton and the family will mark the Fourth of July at Wrigley Field where the Cubs are scheduled to play the Detroit Tigers.