President Bush Salutes Remembers President Reagan in Radio Address


Saturday June 12, 2004

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. This week, America mourned the passing of President Ronald Reagan. We remembered a gentle, decent man, and one of the greatest leaders our nation has known. He was a courageous patriot whose leadership transformed the country and the world he leaves behind.

In this time of sadness, we think especially of Nancy Reagan, a loyal, loving wife of 52 years; and the President's three children, and the rest of the Reagan family.

Ronald Wilson Reagan entered the world more than 93 years ago in an apartment above a local bank in Illinois. His life would include success in careers from sports broadcasting to film acting to public office. Along the way, his deepest convictions were formed. And through all the trials of life, those convictions never wavered.

Ronald Reagan believed that everything happens for a reason, and that we can trust in God's purposes. He believed that people are basically good. He had no tolerance for bigotry or injustice. Above all, he believed in the courage and triumph of free men and in the capacity of the American people to overcome any obstacle.

President Reagan brought those convictions to the White House in 1981, and he departed eight years later with achievements that have endured. With bold, persistent action, he restored the confidence of our nation, strengthened the spirit of free enterprise, challenged and shamed an oppressive empire, and inspired millions with his conviction and moral courage.

As he showed what a President should be, he also showed us what a man should be. Ronald Reagan carried himself with a decency and attention to the small kindnesses that also define a good life. He was a courtly, gentle, and considerate man, never known to slight or embarrass others. From the Oval Office, he took time to answer letters from schoolchildren and grandmothers and countless strangers curious about life in the White House.

Ronald Reagan deeply loved the United States of America. And that love is being returned. Over the past week, tens of thousands of mourners stood in line in California and in Washington, D.C. to pay their final respects. There were 21-gun salutes and dignified processions, and home-made memorials at a funeral home in Santa Monica.

Now that Nancy Reagan has taken her husband to his place of rest, we offer our gratitude. Our country is stronger and our world is freer for the brave leadership of this modest son of America. Ronald Reagan always told us that for America, our best was yet to come. We know that is true for him, too. His work is done. And now a shining city awaits him.

May God bless Ronald Reagan. Thank you for listening.


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