(CNN)Despite the very public nature of his role, our father, the late President George H.W. Bush, was a humble man who preferred to keep the spotlight off himself. However, now that we find ourselves upon the first anniversary of his passing, we wanted to take a moment to share more about the legacy of kindness left behind by the man we knew simply as Dad.
We are proud to remember our father and the people he continues to inspire. As we reflect on the outpouring of support our family has received this year, we also remember the longing many people have expressed to get back to the kind of sentiment and humanity our father embodied.
The mourning we witnessed was not only about George H.W. Bush
, the man and patriot, but also about the type of character and leadership he represented.
It has been a difficult time for our family, but a time during which we were overwhelmed with optimism in peoples’ spirit and their willingness to serve others.
Growing up — and even well into our adulthood — Dad instilled in us the importance of placing people over politics or business. His motivation was always to serve, to set an example, and to hopefully make a difference for the world and those in it.
It was this inherent sense of leadership that helped guide pivotal moments in his long career — whether signing and implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act
, which assured protections for millions of Americans; conceiving Points of Light
from the Oval Office, which helped create a global network of individuals with the singular mission of giving back to others; or signing the National Literacy Act
, which opened a new chapter for adult literacy in America.
Most recently, we announced the recipients of the inaugural George H.W. Bush Points of Light Awards
, and on November 22, we marked the 30th anniversary of the Daily Point of Light Award
— a recognition of individuals and groups who are creating meaningful change in their local communities.
Dad started this award from the White House and personally signed each award until he was no longer able.
We will always remember our father for how he looked for a way to uplift those around him — to help those in need or simply put a smile on someone’s face. And, to paraphrase Martin Luther King Jr., we will continue to honor him by shining a light on the contributions of anyone who seeks to drive out the darkness of our time to lift the lives of others.
Because, in the end, it is the people who rise up as leaders for their communities who will make the greatest impact. It is that type of mentality and leadership we need from everyone to truly change our world.