Precinct 333

Friday, June 11, 2004

Farewell, Mr. President

Ronald Reagan, fourtieth president of the United States, was laid to rest this evening. A man who defined an era and reshaped the American body-politic, his place in history is assured, even as we Americans resume the debate over how he should be remembered.

Tonight's service focused on Reagan as a man of faith, as every funeral should. The words that are most striking to me are those of his son and namesake, Ron Reagan.
Dad was also a deeply, unabashedly religious man. But he never made the fatal mistake of so many politicians wearing his faith on his sleeve to gain political advantage. True, after he was shot and nearly killed early in his presidency, he came to believe that God had spared him in order that he might do good. But he accepted that as a responsibility, not a mandate. And there is a profound difference.

Let it be sufficient to say that the son caught the essence of what was right about the role of faith in his father's political life, and what is wrong with all too many others, both conservative and liberal.

Most touching for me was Nancy Reagan's sob as she said her final goodbye. This expression of grief could not help but touch anyone who loved her husband. Even my darling wife, The Loyal Opposition, was moved to tears. Nancy has shown America a model of grace and dignity -- and of love and devotion.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons License.