The texts of the GOP convention are here. When Anne Beiler’s speech becomes available make sure to check it out. She is the founder of Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, a company which she founded in tragedy, and her story is uplifting and inspiring.
Update: And here it is, Anne Beiler’s speech to the 2008 GOP Convention…
Greetings to all my fellow Americans: Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike. I stand here tonight with deep gratitude to God and to all the people, who along my journey have brought me to this place.
Nearly 50 years ago, a little Amish girl eavesdropping by an open window heard the hushed tones of adults whispering nervously.
The women sounded upset.
The men shuffled their feet.
I remember this moment so vividly because I was that Amish girl listening by the window – my father, a farmer, had just lost his herd.
My parents had run out of money.
My relatives had come to help, and for the next few months they brought food and clothing. Occasionally, we found envelopes of money on our doorstep.
From that point in my life, faced with the reality that we were poor, I became determined to work hard, to make my way in the world and to help my family any way I could.
My culture, my values and my heritage helped me to go from that little girl of poverty to this woman of prosperity.
My faith and determination helped me build Auntie Anne’s Soft Pretzels, which is now an international enterprise with almost 1,000 locations.
Auntie Anne’s was my American Dream.
Thirty-three years ago on September 8th, 1975, my sweet little daughter Angela, just 19 months old, was killed in a farming accident.
I felt a level of grief that I never knew existed.
I didn’t know where to turn. I wanted to run.
Although I had faith in God, and my family surrounding me, I felt despair.
I thought my life was over.
That tragedy was my nightmare. What I didn’t realize then, was that out of MY pain, MY purpose was born.
Not unlike Senator John McCain.
He is a man of purpose. Out of his pain and torture his purpose was formed.
In our stories, hope has turned fear into faith, nightmares into miracles and tragedies into purpose.
God mends our broken spirits, and leads us on a path to spiritual and emotional wholeness. My husband and I realized we wanted to help other families going through difficult times by offering counseling.
I’m proud to say that in just one week, we will celebrate the grand opening of The Family Center of Gap, Pennsylvania.
This 55,000 square-foot community-based center will be “one-stop shop” for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of hurting families.
It will provide affordable education, counseling, prayer and healing, ministering to families at their darkest hour of need.
The Family Center is our northern star, and for many others a beacon of hope.
What I have learned from the pain of my loss, and from my journey from poverty to prosperity, is that this life is about others.
It’s not about money.
Life is never about what you can accumulate. It’s not about the pocketbook. True prosperity is a richness of heart and spirit.
In Psalm 49, it says, “Do not be overawed when people become rich, when the wealth of their house increases. For when they die, they will carry nothing away; their wealth will not go down after them.”
I began to live when I learned to give.
Giving is my purpose.
I believe it is our responsibility to unleash this spirit in others and keep it the hallmark of our great country.
Our success is not a point of arrival. It is a launching pad to do more. I’ve found — with prosperity, comes responsibility. To whom much is given much is required.
That is true for each of us as individuals, and it is true for all of us, collectively, as one Nation under God.
We are a blessed nation. We must continue to be a giving people, and we must continue be a giving nation!
America has a long, lasting tradition of being the most giving nation on Earth. While our economic fortunes may rise and fall, it is our prosperity of spirit, which has made us a shining star for others.
Our spiritual richness was forged by our earliest endeavors to safeguard our liberty, and protect our families and our values.
The spirit of prosperity that has engulfed my life is the spirit of America. Under the leadership of John McCain and Sarah Palin this spirit will continue.
Alexis de Tocqueville, the French historian who traveled to our shores to better understand our nation, said it well: America is great because America is good.
Under John McCain’s leadership, we will recommit ourselves to a greater good.
To be our very best. To give hope to the hopeless. To give courage to the weak.
The prophet Isaiah said, we must, “share our bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless into our homes.” This will cause our spirits to prosper.
I have learned the value of spiritual prosperity.
Although my parents were not able to leave me an inheritance, they gave me the greatest gift of all — a rich, Godly heritage.
As a woman of faith, I am committed to run the race, to stay the course and to be a beacon of light that will pierce the darkness so others may find their way.
I give to get to give again.
Fellow Americans, please join John McCain and Sarah Palin in their quest to do the same.
Thank you for the honor of addressing you this evening.
America you are beautiful to me.
God bless you all.