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Monday, June 05, 2006

Quote-a-palooza - Reagan's Death Day Edition
"The family is the basic unit of our society, the heart of our free democracy... It is a time to recommit ourselves to the concept of the family—a concept that must withstand the trends of lifestyle and legislation. Let us pledge that our institutions and policies will be shaped to enhance an environment in which families can strengthen their ties and best exercise their beliefs, authority, and resourcefulness. And let us make our pledge mindful that we do so not only on behalf of individual family members, but for America." —Ronald Reagan

"Are we doing a good enough job teaching our children what America is and what she represents in the long history of the world? Those of us who are over thirty-five or so years of age grew up in a different America. We were taught, very directly, what it means to be an American. And we absorbed, almost in the air, a love of country and an appreciation of its institutions. If you didn't get these things from your family, you got them from the neighborhood, from the father down the street who fought in Korea or the family who lost someone at Anzio. Or you could get a sense of patriotism from school. And if all else failed, you could get a sense of patriotism from the popular culture. The movies celebrated democratic values and implicitly reinforced the idea that America was special." —Ronald Reagan

"Forty summers have passed since the battle that you fought here. You were young that day and you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet, you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith and belief; it was loyalty and love. The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge—and pray God we have not lost it—that there is a profound moral difference between the use of force of liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer... You all knew that some things are worth dying for." —Ronald Reagan, 6 June 6 1984, Pointe Du Hoc, France

"And I hope that someday your children and grandchildren will tell of the time that a certain president came to town at the end of a long journey and asked their parents and grandparents to join him in setting America on the course to the new millennium—and that a century of peace, prosperity, opportunity, and hope followed. So, if I could ask you just one last time: Tomorrow, when mountains greet the dawn, would you go out there and win one for the Gipper?" —Ronald Reagan

"'The Great Communicator' was effective because what he communicated was self-evident to all but our decayed elites: 'We are a nation that has a government—not the other way around,' he said in his Inaugural address. And at the end of a grim, grey decade—Vietnam, Watergate, energy crises, Iranian hostages—Americans decided they wanted a president who looked like the nation, not like its failed government. Thanks to his clarity, around the world, governments that had nations have been replaced by nations that have governments." —Mark Steyn

"Ronald Reagan was the political antidote to this shrunken view of America. He reminded us that we stood for something great, that we were made of sterner stuff than the nay-sayers implied. He not only made the right arguments and proposed sound policies, but his very person, his character, was such as to make it entirely believable. This was an entirely American man... Ronald Reagan helped Americans regain their footing. He reminded his fellow citizens what we once were and what we may yet become. He knew that we needed to hear once again the language of our ancient faith, the drumbeat of the American Revolution, the nature of limited constitutional government. He reminded us what held us together, what made us citizens of the shining city on the hill. He helped us reconstruct our ancient faith on solid ground. He was utterly confident that the character of the people was yet sound, and he always appealed to the better angels of our nature." —Peter Schramm

"A great man's reach invariably extends beyond the battles he won or the buildings he raised, and can only be fully measured by the hearts he touched and the dreams he inspired. By that measure Ronald Reagan...still lives—in countless millions of us. At the pedestrian level of American politics, it is hard to find an active Republican today who does not carry in his or her mind a bit of secondhand Reagan magic. Thousands of leading conservative journalists, politicians, even academics, are in the business because of Mr. Reagan, or are better, more principled, more optimistic and more effective because Ronald Reagan lived and filled a vast political and human void... It is the magic of great men that, what is considered normal (even prosaic) after them, was considered implausible or impossible before they did it. Whether it was defeating tyranny, cutting taxes or honoring religious faith, Ronald Reagan opened the door for conservative governance and has made all that might yet be, possible." —The Washington Times

[F]or most of his adult life, when public opinion was running hard in one direction, [Ronald Reagan] was pulling hard in the other, swimming against the tide. He paid the price in many ways, was called wild and radical by the leaders even of his own party. But he didn't complain, and he tugged and tugged as if with a rope in his teeth until, at the end, the country had come along with him and reached the same safe shore. And when it was over he stood up, smiled, and refused to hate his foes. That refusal—that was heroic." —Peggy Noonan

"I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind swept, God blessed and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace, a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here... And how stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure and happier than it was eight years ago. But more than that; after two hundred years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she's still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home. We've done our part. And as I walk into the city streets, a final word to the men and women of the Reagan revolution, the men and women across America who for eight years did the work that brought America back. My friends: We did it. We weren't just marking time, we made a difference. We made the city stronger, we made the city freer, and we left her in good hands. All in all, not bad. Not bad at all. And so, good-bye. God bless you, and God bless the United States of America." —Ronald Reagan

How eloquent! Makes you wonder who writes and coaches President Bush's speeches. What a difference.

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