“In my eighty years, I prefer to call that the forty-first anniversary of my thirty ninth birthday, I’ve seen what men can do for each other and do to each other, I’ve seen war and peace, feast and famine, depression and prosperity, sickness and health. I’ve seen the depth of suffering and the peaks of triumph and I know in my heart that man is good, that what is right will always eventually triumph and that there is purpose and worth to each and every life.”
Spoken by Ronald Wilson Reagan at the November 4, 1991 dedication of the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, was born on this day in 1911. (died 2004).
As I’ve written before, I had the privilege of living in the Washington, DC area during the last three years of
the Reagan Administration.
Those were great days to be a young conservative in DC.
For all of its problems, I loved living and working there. But they can’t print enough money for me to move back. And we won’t see another President like Ronald Reagan again…from either party.
Reagan had his flaws, but he was a genuine leader. I am thankful for the opportunities I had to hear him speak in person and for the opportunities I had to occasionally work with his White House staff.
But those days were a million years, and just about as many novel plots ago.
Some days I miss Washington, and the job that I had there. There’s just something about driving or walking by the U.S. Capitol on a regular basis. Or riding the Metro across the Potomac to view the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial.
Note to self (and to wife if she’s reading this): We may need to road trip for the Cherry Blossoms this year. If you haven’t read the story, that’s when and where we got engaged.
I’ve told you how good I am at planning events.
That’s what I did in DC for eight years. It allowed me to work with some great people, and travel to some amazing places. Often the family got to go with me.
True story: On our first vacation trip after we moved to Richmond, we checked into the motel. Our son, who was five or six at the time said “We can’t stay here. There’s no living room.”
He had to get used to the fact that Dad was paying for it now.
I haven’t seen all of the things that Reagan did. But approaching the twenty-first anniversary of my thirty-ninth birthday, I’ve had the opportunity to see a lot.
For that, I’m grateful.
Now I just have to remember it all while I can and get it all down in the novels.
And I have to remember that yes, right will always triumph.
I’ve read the last chapter, I know how the story ends. Look it up, it will do you some good.
But it’s like Samwise Gamgee said,
“It’s like the great stories, Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad has happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines, it’ll shine out the clearer. I know now folks in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding on to something. That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.”
Oh, come on, it’s been weeks since I’ve made a Tolkien reference.
On a side note, by Tolkien friends and I tried to find this quote in the books and could not. It’s apparently a Peter Jackson adaptation for the movies. It’s a good one.
Reagan knew that ultimately right will win. That’s right vs. wrong. Not right vs. left.
Although Reagan was pretty good at that one as well.