Ronald Reagan, remembered
One year ago today, June 11th, 2004, Ron Reagan, Jr. spoke these words at his father's memorial service in California:
'Dad never wore his religion on his sleeve, and never felt he had a mandate from God, unlike some other politicians.'
If any politician ever had a mandate from God, it was the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Wilson Reagan. He joined an elite list of great Americans in this regard: George Washington and Abraham Lincoln among them. Mr. Washington was an instrument in the hands of God in birthing a nation; Mr. Lincoln in preserving a nation. In America's second century, an evil force called communism was determined to bring a godless socialist system to our shores and wipe away any vestige of honor bestowed to the Almighty.
Communism began by enslaving whole populations around the world, killing over 100 million souls, and demanding sacred allegiance to the state from those who remained. As cries from these bankrupt souls reached Heaven, God looked to and fro upon the face of the earth and found a man from a small town in the heartland.
Ronald Reagan of Dixon, Illinois, knew God because God is all he and his mom had to get them through during very tough times: Mr. Reagan's dad was given to the bottle, and so the pages of the Bible became a source of comfort and strength for them. Bequeathed to this young man were characteristics that would lead him to his eventual position in the White House, chief among these, a humble nature. God seems to resist the proud.
Lifted onto the national political scene by a televised speech given on October 27, 1964, Mr. Reagan comment's that day included these words of Winston Churchill: 'When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we are spirits, not animals.' Mr. Reagan knew his call: duty to God and freedom to His children.
When the Soviet Union collapsed, part of the wall of separation between God and man came down as millions were set free in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. Why? Because one man had a mandate, not worn on his sleeve, but sealed upon his heart.
On the day President Reagan was eulogized in his nation's capital city, it rained. Heaven wept not for itself but for a world that will miss a servant who ran well the race to the end. May his mantle fall on another.