Dr. John Price Witwer is everything the recipient of the Daughters of the American Revolution Medal of Honor should be.
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Friends and colleagues called him a phenomenal leader, an extraordinary servant to the community and the country, an undying patriot and an exceptional human being.
Witwer accepted the award at the May 9 meeting of the Mountain Rendezvous Chapter, flanked by family and friends. The award is given to someone who has made unusual and lasting contributions to American heritage by giving to the community, state and country.
Witwer attended Cornell University Medical School, was an Army flight surgeon during the Vietnam War and was a radiologist at Lutheran Medical Center. When he retired in 1997, he represented District 25 in the Colorado House of Representatives from 1999-2005. He also founded the Red Rocks Community College physicians assistant program, and he continues to teach classes there.
In thanking the Daughters of the Revolution for the award, Witwer thanked their ancestors for creating the United States of America.
“Your ancestors did the right thing at the right time, and we are grateful to them,” he said. “The American Revolution is an experiment that continues to this day.”
Letters in support of the award called Witwer a role model and mentor in medicine, in the military and in the legislature.
“He calmly listened to everyone, even those who disagreed with him,” said Steven Brown, chief medical officer at Lutheran Medical Center, in a recommendation letter. “John demonstrated the finest traditions of citizen legislator as described by our nation’s Founders. He was honest, ethical, smart and had no desire to make politics his life-long career. … He is a principled man – a wonderful role model for how to be a good husband, father, physician, citizen and patriot.”
Former Colorado Sen. Cheri Jahn called Witwer a true statesman.
“He always worked hard and stressed the importance of good sound policy, not partaking in party politics," Jahn said in a letter of recommendation. "He was highly respected because of his strong ability to work with his colleagues and to reach across the aisle to be sure the best policies were put forth. He was always anxious to hear all sides of an issue, and he was a true leader in his ability to bring all stakeholders to the table for honest and robust discussions.”
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