A JOINT RESOLUTION COMMEMORATING the life and accomplishments of ronald wilson reagan, 40th president of the united states of america.
Whereas, Ronald Wilson Reagan, our 40th President, died on June 5, 2004, at the age of 93 years; and
Whereas, we remember him as a man of charm, wit, and endless self confidence, embodying the optimism of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the eloquence of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and the inflexible will of Theodore Roosevelt. Especially do we remember his recovery for us all of the virtues of middle America and the values of our founding fathers; his reminding us in his first inaugural address that the states created our union not vice versa; and his thrust toward devolution of power to the states. We remember, too, his trenchant assertion that "Government is not the solution – Government is the problem;" and
Whereas, we remember that in our own State in March 1976, when his political career seemed hopeless after five successive primary defeats, he broke that string of defeats, revived his campaign, and laid the foundation for his presidency in 1981; and
Whereas, we remember the steadfastness of his opposition to "the Evil Empire" of the Soviet Union even though many in his own party and the opposing party as well as the media urged accommodation, urged that "we go along to get along." Indeed, we remember the consternation of old Europe when he and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher pressed forward with a zeal to rearm the forces of freedom. We remember especially that day in 1987 at Brandenburg Gate when he challenged Mikhail Gorbachev, "If you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come to this Gate … open this Gate … tear down this wall;" and
Whereas, his determination, his spirited belief in the ultimate strength and victory of freedom over oppression resulted in large part in the collapse of the Soviet Empire and the liberation of more than 158,000,000 souls among the captive nations of Eastern Europe; and
Whereas, his eloquence in the espousal of limited government, individual self reliance, and the lowering of our tax burden was accompanied by boundless good humor, self effacing wit, and a warmth that embraced all of his fellow citizens in all walks of life and all political persuasions; and
Whereas, after two terms, when he left office, he left with the affection of our entire nation, and left us finally a legacy of personal courage as he met the ultimate adversary with these poignant words, "I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of life … [but] I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead;" Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the Senate, the House of Representatives concurring:
SECTION 1. The General Assembly mourns the passing of President Ronald Reagan, a great American and a towering spirit who led us and the free world through a time of peril to ultimate victory over, perhaps historically, our most dangerous enemy.
SECTION 2. The Secretary of State shall transmit a certified copy of this Resolution to the family of President Ronald Reagan and the Legislature and Governor of his home state of California.
SECTION 3. This resolution is effective upon ratification.
In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 28th day of June, 2004.
Beverly E. Perdue
President of the Senate
Richard T. Morgan
Speaker of the House of Representatives