By Doug Grow | Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012
Sen. Gary Kubly, DFL-Granite Falls, was speaking, and the other 66 senators were trying hard to understand the words he was saying. There were sounds filled with passion coming from Kubly's lips, but the words were unintelligible.
Kubly was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) 18 months ago. The awful progress of the disease was painfully obvious for all to see and hear. Only a few months ago, Kubly was much easier to understand, and he could move around with the aid of a walker.
After he had uttered a few sentences, he pushed a button on an iPad. He had typed what he had spoken, and now the machine was doing the talking for him.
"I'd like to thank all the members and the staff for all they have done for me," the automated voice said.
He uttered/typed a few more phrases of appreciation, hit the button, and the automated voice flatly repeated them. There was a moment of silence — then, a long, sincere standing ovation.
It was one of those movingly human moments that brought everyone together.