Monday, June 07, 2004

Rest in Peace, Mr. President, and Thank You

Although I was born in the mid 70's, Ronald Reagan was the first president that I clearly remember. I was too young to understand the ramifications of most of his speeches, but I remember being impressed with his radiant smile and gentle, but firm tone of voice. My grandfather, a lifelong Republican, donated some money to his presidential campaign in my name, and I was thrilled when I received a certificate of appreciation signed by the President himself. I was in junior high when he gave his famous speech at the Brandenburg gate in Berlin, and I was in awe at his moral courage. He said what everyone was thinking, but was too afraid to say. I will never forget his example of moral clarity.

My great-uncle recently died of Alzheimer's disease, and I remember how my aunt suffered at seeing his humorous and out-going personality diminish and disappear. I am sad at President Reagan's passing, but I'm cheered by the thought that he and his family are no longer suffering through what can only be described as a "living death." I imagine that on the other side, his personality has been restored and he might even be joking with his fellow residents of that other world.

Thank you for your service to our country, Mr. President, and may God bless you and your family.


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