Remembering Reagan

This has been a somber and hectic week for many of us, in light of what happened one week ago, on Saturday afternoon. There has been so much said since then about President Ronald Reagan, and about the incredible things that he accomplished during his life, for those around him, for our communities, for our country, and for the betterment of the entire world. I hope that even after this week is over, many of us will continue to keep President Reagan, and his family, in our thoughts and prayers, and that we never forget the great impact that his leadership and policies had on our nation, our people, and on millions of people across the globe.

After hearing the news about President Reagan, I called the Chairwoman of the College Republicans at Eureka College (President Reagan's alma mater), and we decided to arrange a gathering at the college the following evening. On Sunday, some students members met at Eureka College, and spent time there at the Reagan Peace Garden, and the Reagan Museum. This was a poignant and emotional occasion.

Today, there was an official, public memorial service for President Reagan at Eureka College, and I was glad to attend. I wanted to point out, for the purpose of this blog entry, something that I had discovered from this news article about today's event. Today was actually the anniversary of one of the greatest - and most amazing - foreign policy addresses in the history of the modern world. This speech exemplified the political and moral courage of President Reagan, and showed that determined optimism, when accompanied by hard work, dedication, perserverance, and the grace of God, can make things happen that many had once considered to be impossible.

Check out the text of the speech that our president gave at the Brandenberg Gate in Berlin, seventeen years ago today.
(June 12, 1987)

Just a couple of years after delivering this speech, President Reagan's ambitious demand became reality. Countless people throughout the world, and in our nation, owe President Reagan an enormous level of appreciation and gratitude for promoting the values of liberty, security, and strength - basic American values that created prosperity and growth among our people, and which also liberated (without war!) millions of people in foreign countries, who were no longer forced to live under totalitarian regimes. The world is, without a doubt, a great deal better off because Ronald Wilson Reagan was able to serve as the leader of the United States.

There is a great deal more that I could say - and that I will say, in the future - about President Reagan. All Americans have some kind of connection to the Reagan years, but my fellow Illinoisans have been paying their respects to our former president in special ways... He was actually the only U.S. president born in our state, and our local environments and hometown values clearly impacted him. The Illinois towns of Tampico (where he was born), Dixon (where he grew up, and where there was a major memorial service the day before yesterday - at which our liberal, Democratic state governor actually revealed that he voted for Reagan - both times!), and Eureka (where he went to college, and then even came back, to serve on the Board of Trustees), have all been having very special events during this week in honor of their favorite son. Our state provided the roots for the conservative revolution led by the man who would become the greatest president of our time, and this is a somber and poignant occasion for Illinoisans, and for millions throughout our country, and for many across the world as well.


Posted by Aakash at June 12, 2004 11:59 PM