Statement on the Passing of President Reagan
Congressman Chris Smith, dean of the New Jersey Congressional Delegation who was first elected in 1980 along with President Reagan, issued the following statement this evening on Reagan's death:
"Ronald Reagan was a great world leader with a fierce devotion to freedom, democracy, and the sacredness of human life - including the unborn.
"He advocated peace through strength and played a major role in dismantling Soviet Communism and its extension into Latin America and elsewhere. I remember some of his critics laughing when he challenged Gorbachev in Berlin to 'tear down this wall.' They're not laughing any more.
"Having been elected to congress in 1980 along with President Reagan, I saw first hand and often how genuine he was. He was a man of abiding principle who inspired our nation to greatness, always believing America's best years lay ahead.
"He endured personal hardship - including an assassination attempt - with incredible poise, dignity, and even humor.
Who can forget President Reagan telling Nancy he forgot to duck after he was shot.
He will be missed but his legacy will endure."