Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

This day in history

Where were you in 1911? Chances are, you weren't even born yet, and that's all right because the man I speak of didn't rise to prominence until much, much later in his life. The man I'm referring to is Ronald Wilson Reagan. Today is his birthday, and he would have been 97 today.

Why recall his birthday? Because if we don't remember his presidency, we risk forgetting it, along with so much more of history that most of us can't recall. (I, fortunately, don't have that problem.)

What I do recall of Reagan are his speeches. the man was, perhaps, the best orator we had as president since John F. Kennedy, and even then I still believe, in my opinion, he was vastly superior to Kennedy. "The Great Communicator" is one of his nicknames, and rightly so. I am, if nothing else, a Reagan baby. I was born in 1972, and watched as the nation slipped into it's malaise under Jimmy Carter, but remember vividly Reagan taking the reins of this nation, and restoring it to its rightful place in the world. Not just as a leader in foreign affairs, but as an industrialized, vibrant "bright, shining city on a hill." After the God-awful four years of Carter, the eight years of Reagan was a welcome relief.

We may each have our own recollections of President Reagan. If you're a liberal, then the very utterance of his name is probably like nails on a chalkboard. (Let's test that: Reagan, Reagan, Reagan. Ears bleeding yet?) But if you're a conservative, you have fond memories of the man. We'll recall that just sixty-nine days into his first term, a deranged man tried to assassinate him. In the hospital, even agfter being shot, Reagan quipped to the doctors "I hope you're all Republicans." He was always quick with his wit and humor.

But he could show his emotion to the nation in a time of grieving. On January 28, 1986 President Reagan took to the airwaves to console a nation. The Space Shuttle Challenger had blown up after lift-off. He was supposed to have given his State of the Union address. He opted, instead, to attend to the wound the nation was nursing then. In his address, he quoted John Gillespie Magee, Jr.'s poem "High Flight":

"We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and 'slipped the surly bonds of Earth' to 'touch the face of God.'"

In 1987, he stood at the Brandenburg Gate of the Berlin Wall. The Soviets were slowly collapsing under the weight of communism. Both President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev had been discussing a reduction of nuclear weapons, and a more open dialogue between our nations. At the gates of the Berlin Wall, president Reagan challenged him:

"General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

We remember Ronald Reagan for a number of things that happened in his life, and we should thank God that we were allowed to share in that great, American life. He arrived on the scene when we needed him the most -- the right man, in the right place, at the right time. Just eight short years later, he was gone; gone from the White House, but certainly not forgotten. Then, on 5 June 2004, he was gone from our lives for good. While he may be gone from this earthly realm, he will most definitely not be forgotten.

Publius II


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