Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy 100th birthday, President Ronald Reagan!

Former President Ronald Reagan would have been 100 years old today. Below are a few articles reflecting on Reagan.

From Devin Dwyer of ABC News on Feb. 6:
Friends and admirers of Ronald Reagan will pop the cork today for elaborate festivities around the country to commemorate what would have been the former president's 100th birthday.

Reagan, who died in 2004 at age 93, will be celebrated from Simi Valley, Calif., where hundreds are expected at a celebrity-packed tribute concert featuring the Beach Boys; to Dixon, Ill., where neighbors will gather near Reagan's boyhood home for a celebratory gala.

At the Super Bowl in Dallas on Sunday -- Reagan's actual birthday -- a two-minute film tribute will air on giant jumbotrons before tens of thousands of fans.

Earlier in the day, Nancy Reagan is expected to lay a wreath at her late husband's gravesite, as F-18s launched from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan fly overhead and the military performs a 21-gun salute.

The tributes, ranging from the formal to the quirky, have been coordinated by the Ronald Reagan Foundation and the Reagan Centennial Commission, a panel formed for the anniversary by Congress in 2009 with President Obama's approval.

From Michael Reagan, Ronald Reagan's son, on FOX News on Feb. 6:
On my father's 100th birthday, I think back to the assassination attempt on his life in March 1981. That day, the Secret Service told me that my wife Colleen and I, our two children, and my sisters Maureen and Patti would take a military transport from Los Angeles to Washington that night. My brother Ron would arrive separately.

"You'll stay in the White House tonight," the agent said, "and you'll visit your father at the hospital tomorrow."

That night, we boarded a C-130 transport and took off from a private terminal at LAX. It was a long, miserable flight, made worse by our worries about Dad. We were exhausted when we arrived at the White House.

The next morning, Colleen and I got into an aging armor-plated Cadillac limo. The agents in our Secret Service detail were on edge, worried that their might be more attacks.

As we drove, the bullet-proof window next to me slowly slid down by itself. I leaned forward and tapped the agent on the shoulder. "Excuse me," I said, "but should this window be going down?"

The agent looked — and turned white! He grabbed the window glass with both hands, swearing and struggling to pull the window up again. Apparently, the White House limo fleet was falling apart like everything else left over from the Carter administration.

From Alex Leary of The St. Petersburg Times on Feb. 6:
Ronald Reagan would have turned 100 today and Republicans have spent the past week in effusive remembrance.

Sen. Marco Rubio: "President Reagan was a man who inspired millions of Americans to serve their country and fulfill its promise as the shining city on a hill. His genial demeanor, resilience, no-nonsense approach to governing and rock solid principles attracted flocks of young Americans to the Republican Party, and I am proud to include myself in that number."

Rep. Bill Posey, R-Rockledge: “This weekend as we gather with family and friends watch the Super Bowl, I’ll also be tuning-in to the centennial tributes to our 40th President. Indeed President Reagan’s leadership inspired so many Americans to look past current problems to see a better tomorrow, to pursue our dreams, to accomplish a goal or to start a business, and be proud to be an American.”

Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota (via Twitter): "Common sense told us that when you put a big tax on something, the people will produce less of it" - Happy Birthday President Reagan."

Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation: “At a time in our country's history when the American people needed a principled leader to inspire a nation and protect us from harm, we were blessed to have President Ronald Reagan. ... As we face today’s challenges, we need to keep in minds the words of President Ronald Reagan. Never in recent history has there been a more influential person on the United States of America, and in turn, my own personal political positions, than President Ronald Reagan."


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