Before a campaign speech in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Theodore Roosevelt, the presidential candidate for the Progressive Party, was shot at close range by saloon owner John Schrank while greeting the public in front of the Gilpatrick Hotel. Schrank’s bullet, aimed directly at Roosevelt’s heart, failed to mortally wound the former president because its force was slowed by a glasses case and a bundle of manuscript in the breast pocket of Roosevelt’s heavy coat.
Schrank was immediately detained and reportedly offered as his motive that “any man looking for a third term ought to be shot.” Roosevelt, who suffered only a flesh wound from the attack, went on to deliver his scheduled speech with the bullet still in his body. After a few words, the former “Rough Rider” pulled the torn bloodstained manuscript from his breast pocket and declared, “It takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose.” He spoke for nearly an hour and then was rushed to the hospital.
Neal Shusterman said, “The measure of a man is not how much he suffers in the test, but how he comes out at the end.” We all take our share of shots in this life. What determines a man’s greatness is not what leads up to the shots, but is found in his response.