Jun 8, 2004

I have been taken aback by the reaction to Ronald Reagan’s death. I don’t remember much about Reagan and his policies during his presidency – I was far too young to understand. In fact, I only remember a handsome, charismatic man, and his hushed voice. I also remember many parodies of him – the best I remember is Johnny Carson. In fact, I knew that he had Alzheimer’s disease, but I cannot recall when it was discovered that he had it. I know that the history books discuss the assassination attempt on his life, but I did know when that was until these past few days. I did some research and found this website that includes an excerpt from his journal describing that horrible day. Here’s an excerpt:
“I was almost to the car when I heard what sounded like two or three firecrackers over to my left - just a small fluttering sound, pop, pop, pop. I turned and said, "What the hell's that?" Just then, Jerry Parr, the head of our Secret Service unit, grabbed me by the waist and literally hurled me into the back of the limousine. I landed on my face atop the armrest across the back seat and Jerry jumped on top of me. When he landed, I felt a pain in my upper back that was unbelievable. It was the most excruciating pain I had ever felt. "Jerry," I said, "get off, I think you've broken one of my ribs." Read the rest here.

Reading this, I learned that Reagan was a very strong Christian. Many of his speeches refer to “a shining city on a hill.” This is in reference to Matthew 5:14-16, which includes, "You are the light of the world, a city set on a hill cannot be hid," a passage that Reagan often quoted in his speeches to project his view of America as a beacon of freedom and hope in the world. I can’t believe the number of people that are streaming through his library in CA. We might go downtown to see the procession from the Ellipse to the Capitol. But we are supposed to go to CTT (Common Task Training) tomorrow which is from 0700 to 1600. How nice, since I have to work until 2200 today. I hope we can get out early so that we can get down there and stake out a spot. I have been intrigued by all the hoopla that has started since his death.

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