Saluting women

Friendship brought Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, where the Independent Women’s Forum’s (IWF) Woman of Valor award was given posthumously to R. Gaull Silberman, known as “Ricky,” an IWF founder and board member who died of cancer in February.

ElizabethLiz Cheney, daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, presented the award to Mrs. Silberman’s husband, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Senior Judge Laurence Silberman.

“Ricky gave real hugs in a town where people give air-brush kisses,” Mrs. Cheney praised.

Inside the Beltway is told that Justice Thomas will write a “long, personal reminiscence” about Mrs. Silberman in the IWF’s forthcoming newsletter. IWF’s president and CEO, Michelle Bernard, explained that Justice Thomas had “inadvertently” contributed to the decision by Mrs. Silberman and others to found IWF, because during his stormy Supreme Court confirmation hearings the founders felt that the women interviewed by the press for a “women’s view” did not represent mainstream America.

In addition, the newly appointed chief of protocol of the U.S., Ambassador Nancy Brinker, founder of the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure, also was awarded the Woman of Valor award at last week’s gala. The award was presented to Mrs. Brinker by former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson. Each year, the award is given in honor of Mr. Olson’s late wife, Barbara K. Olson, who was killed during the September 11, 2001, attacks.