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Remembering Ronald Reagan

Feb 4, 2011 | Press Releases

“I am proud to honor Ronald Reagan on the 100th anniversary of his birth. 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.

“I was fortunate to have grown up and come of age politically just as President Reagan was in office. His words and deeds inspired our entire country to take pride in our patriotic values and the free market principles that have made America exceptional. He also comforted us during moments of national tragedy. And his willingness to speak out against communism – as both a bankrupt economic system and an immoral violation of human dignity – was a ray of sunlight to those living in its darkness.

“I will never forget my parents’ reaction the day the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. Having lost their country to Fidel Castro’s Communism, they had spent 30 years divided from their homeland, friends, and relatives — just as the Wall had done to millions in Europe.

“Especially for my parents’ generation of Cuban exiles, whose hopes and dreams were shattered by Communism, the Wall’s fall was an historic event they questioned would ever come. It was a day of celebration and rekindled hope that all lands within Communism’s grip would soon be free as well. Ronald Reagan helped bring about the change that made Communism’s fall possible. By joining with other world leaders like Pope John Paul II, he seized the opportunity to highlight Communism’s failures. In doing so, he helped make millions of oppressed people more self-aware of their intrinsic dignity, more confident that their pursuit of freedom was justified, and more hopeful that they were not alone in their struggles.

“In commemorating Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday, we also remember the work that remains to be done to tear down other oppressive walls that still stand. America’s responsibilities in this effort cannot be underestimated.

“Economically, we cannot allow Washington’s borrow-and-spend binges to diminish our free enterprise system, nor can we allow our debt to make our commitment to freedom and human rights subservient to our debt holders.

“Militarily, as Ronald Reagan said, “Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong.” A free and secure world requires a strong America led by our brave men and women in uniform. America’s commitment to the defense of our allies should never waver. Diplomatically, we must not confuse a desire for security and the promotion of democratic values as mutually exclusive goals.

“The United States and the world owe a great debt to Ronald Reagan for his decisive leadership, adherence to conservative principles and inspiring example during a tumultuous period. And we owe a special debt of gratitude to his wife Nancy for her efforts to keep his memory and legacy alive.

“Now the question before us is whether we are going to do as Ronald Reagan did and ensure that future generations can inherit the single greatest society in all of human history. I, for one, am fully committed to honoring Ronald Reagan’s legacy by standing up for the principles that defined him and have made America exceptional for more than two centuries.”