North Dakota has its 44th Rough Rider Award winner.
And he’s the first law enforcement agent to be so honored.
Jim Olson was in Washburn as Clint Hill received his Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award.
We know Clint Hill as the Secret Service agent who jumped onto the convertible carrying President John F Kennedy just after the president had been shot 55 years ago this week.
But it’s taken decades for the national hero to he honored by his home state – because it took him so long to come to terms with his role in that horrific day in Dallas in 1963.
(Clint Hill, Rough Rider Award Honoree) “It was too painful to talk. Much too painful.”
For Washburn, North Dakota high school graduate Clint Hill, the assassination of President Kennedy signified a personal failure.
(Clint Hill, Rough Rider Award Honoree) “I continued to have a felling of failure because we had failed to protect the president.”
But people around Hill – including newly widowed Jackie Kennedy – said otherwise, calling Hill a hero for risking his life to protect the occupants of the target car.
And after decades of holding it all inside. Hill finally opened up – telling his story to Lisa McCubbin, an author who had been granted a two-hour interview in 2009.
(Clint Hill, Rough Rider Award Honoree) “I vowed I would never write a book.”
(Lisa McCubbin, Author) “I will never write a book, he said. We have written three books together.”
(Clint Hill, Rough Rider Award Honoree) “She helped me along the way to talk about it and it has made a world of differnce in my life.”
McCubbin was among the presenters as the governor bestowed the state’s highest honor on Hill. And it was clear the two have formed a special bond.
(Lisa McCubbin, Author) “You are extraordinary. And so very deserving to be honored by your beloved North Dakota with the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award. Congratulations. (clapping)”
And so, in the town where he grew up – Clint Hill joined the ranks of some pretty special people…
(Clint Hill, Rough Rider Award Honoree) 5730 “I’m the 44th recipient and it’s amazing to be among those who’ve won in the past like the current governor Doug Burgum and people I knew and met like Roger Maris, Phil Jackson, Erik Sevareid, Chet Reiten who stared the Norsk Høstfest, I’m amazed to be among them.”
Jim Olson, KX News.
Lisa McCubbin – Hill’s co-author – says the pair have traveled the world talking about the three books they’ve penned and when anyone asks where he’s from, Clint Hill always proudly says he’s from North Dakota.
Hill’s portrait now hangs in the state capitol hallway, alongside he 43 other Rough Rider Award recipients.