RONALD REAGAN CENTENNIAL - REMEMBERING THE GREAT PATRIOT
We had lost our pride and our feeling of security in our freedoms that had always been America. President Reagan took the oath of office on that cold winters morning and as he said, "so help me God, " took us as a people under his wing and began to return to us what had faded, our patriotism and belief that America was the hope for liberty and freedom in a world filled with chaos. " We must act today in order to preserve tomorrow. And let there be no misunderstanding--we are going to begin to act, beginning today."
Within the text of his inaugural Reagan began to rebuild the hope that was lost. "And as we renew ourselves here in our own land, we will be seen as having greater strength throughout the world. We will again be the exemplar of freedom and a beacon of hope for those who do not now have freedom." With his very first words as President this great patriot shared with us his pride in America and her people and brought out within us that same feeling of pride and American patriotism finding a new start because of Ronald Reagan.
We once again waved the flag and expressed to the world that we are Americans and through our free land and the ability within each of us as individuals exercising that freedom we would once again stand tall and as Americans can and will overcome any hardship or adversity. That is what President Reagan brought out in us. He had the marvelous ability because of his unwavering belief in the American ideal and in the strength of a free people that this land that we love was as Reagan put it, "a shining city on a hill, " and would always be the last best hope for the world.
In every speech and expression President Reagan, as "the Great Communicator," reminded us of our heritage and who we were as a people. He lifted us up because he believed in us and most of all he believed in America. He expressed through his words and his actions what we knew within our hearts was America. The light of liberty that he rekindled in us and our land once again shined throughout the world as a beacon of freedom and the world stood up a took notice as our prestige and respect returned.
When President Reagan said, "God bless America, " you knew that he not only meant it but it was the fervent prayer of his heart. Even in his last days this great patriot expressed through his final letter telling of the disease that would eventually take his life, his belief in us and his love for America, "In closing let me thank you, the American people, for giving me the great honor of allowing me to serve as your President. When the Lord calls me home, whenever that may be, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future. I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead. Thank you, my friends. May God always bless you. Sincerely, Ronald Reagan"
Always the patriot, always believing in us as a people and always the true American. That was Ronald Reagan.