Copyright ©2009 by Federal News Service, Inc., Ste. 500, 1000 Vermont Ave, Washington, DC 20005 USA. Federal News Service is a private firm not affiliated with the federal government. No portion of this transcript may be copied, sold or retransmitted without the written authority of Federal News Service, Inc. Copyright is not claimed as to any part of the original work prepared by a United States government officer or employee as a part of that person's official duties. For information on subscribing to the FNS Internet Service at www.fednews.com, please email Carina Nyberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-202-216-2706.
SEN. MCCONNELL: Friends, fellow members of Congress, trustees of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, Mrs. Reagan.
Today, we celebrate a great man's life, and as we dedicate this statue in this place of honor, we affirm that man's treasured place in our hearts and in our nation's -- (audio break) -- still lay ahead. Ronald Reagan proved that liberty was still the strongest force in history and when many thought freedom should negotiate with tyranny, Ronald Reagan had the courage to call tyranny by its name and to say that freedom would win.
Ronald Reagan is remembered as one of the giants of the 20th century. He deserves our admiration and he deserves this statue. But the real Ronald Reagan stood taller than any statue, and we know the source of that strength; she is here with us.
Nancy, together, you and President Reagan lifted our nation when we needed it most and America is still grateful. You will always have a special place in our hearts.
When Ronald Reagan began the journey that led to the sunset of his life, he remained optimistic about America even then and as he put it so memorably in a handwritten letter to the nation, "I know that for America, there will always be a bright dawn ahead." Holding firm to the ideals that he embraced throughout his remarkable life, we can say the same and inspired by the example of Ronald Wilson Reagan, we can pay an even greater tribute than the monument that we dedicate here today.
We can build that hopeful future he always saw before him, that is the living tribute we owe this great man and it's the tribute that his memory and this nation that he loved deserves.