October 25, 2022

Congressman Moulton Remembers Ashton Carter

Congressman Moulton released the following reflection about his friend, Ashton Carter, who passed away this week at the age of 68: 

"Losing Secretary Ash Carter means losing a mentor and a friend; losing someone we admired and enjoyed; losing someone who has done so much for America and yet had much left to give. Liz and I are deeply saddened. We are sending our love to his children, Ava and Will, and our friend, his wife Stephanie, at this terribly sad time.

Ash was an exemplary public servant, but his values showed through most clearly in his teaching. A lifelong learner and lifelong professor, he has left students all over the world who credit him with much of their inspiration and success. The most important lesson he taught me is about the ethics of technology, impressing upon me how the fathers of nuclear physics he grew up with as a student have no equal among the cyber, tech, and social media entrepreneurs of today—and that ethical hole in our tech-driven world is dangerous for humanity. It is wisdom like this that will serve us all well to remember and to heed.

Once when Ash and Stephanie came over for dinner on a cold winter’s night in Massachusetts, I followed a well-choreographed plan to light the fire just before opening the door, so it would be roaring just in time for them to sit down for drinks. But rather than open the damper just before I lit my match, I managed to throw it shut, thoroughly smoking us all out by the time I took their coats. They took it in stride as we 'enjoyed' drinks in our dead and frozen yard, awaiting the smoke to clear. That was Ash: consummate professional, never fazed, best of friends, always in good cheer.

So many of us will miss those moments and many more. He set a tremendous example for us to follow, and our country and our planet our better for his life of service. We mourn him deeply, and carry his teaching with us into the world ahead.”