In former Speaker John A. Boehner’s first speech after taking the gavel in January 2011, he referred to Ash Wednesday in an attempt to humble Congress.
“In the Catholic faith, we enter into a season of service by having ashes marked on our foreheads,” the Ohio Republican said. “The ashes remind us that life in all its forms is fragile — our time on this Earth, fleeting. As the ashes are delivered, we hear those humbling words: ‘Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.’” He continued: “The American people have humbled us. They have refreshed our memories as to just how temporary the privilege to serve is.”