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Mourning the Passing of President Ronald Reagan

Location: Washington, DC

MOURNING THE PASSING OF PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN -- (House of Representatives - June 08, 2004)


Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for yielding me this time.

It is an amazing thing to join our colleagues tonight and to thank President Reagan and his family for their decades of service. And as I have listened to our colleagues tonight, I thought about the first time I had the opportunity to see and hear President Reagan, and this was back in the early 1970s, and he had come into Jackson, Mississippi, for a Republican Party event. And I attended that event with my parents and was absolutely amazed at several things as I listened to and watched Ronald Reagan. It was his warmth, his ability to communicate, the way he used simple words for a very strong message, one that really showed his principle and his commitment in those still convictions that never ever wavered.

And one of the things that really impressed me was that this was a man who really loved America. He loved everything that America stood for. And I think that it is fitting that we have a world that stands in awe today as they look back and they remember those commitments in and accomplishments.

Mr. Speaker, I had the opportunity to return today with some of my colleagues from being in Normandy to celebrate and to commemorate the 60th anniversary of D-Day and the fight for freedom that was so important to our allies and also to our Nation, and to have an opportunity to share with so many of those individuals their love of President Ronald Reagan. And I think they all saw in him something that we appreciated and maybe could not always put into words. But he promised a renewal of American spirit for us, and by sheer willpower, he made that happen. And I think, yes, that he believed in us more than we believed in ourselves as he became the President of this great country, and he taught us how to enact that belief.

He also taught us that tax relief would make our economy boom, and that indeed happened with an unprecedented economic expansion. He also showed us how one could say, I am not going to hide behind diplomatic platitudes, and I am not going to allow the Soviet Union to slowly eat away at the West. He simply communicated the truth about communism and exposed it for what it was: a cruel system built by thugs and murderers.

And President Reagan truly was the quintessential American hero, the small-town boy with the can-do attitude who set out with a dream and ended up changing the world. He had courage, he had wisdom, and he believed in the best that there was with America. God bless, Ronald Reagan. He was a true American original.


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