Reagan dared to challenge the Soviets on the basis of morality?good versus evil. Freedom and democracy were good, tyranny and communism evil. And so at the Berlin Wall, Reagan challenged Soviet tyranny with the unforgettable words, ?Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!? And it came down, and the Iron Curtain came down along with it.
When I was in the Soviet Union in 1990, I met with groups of dissidents, mostly Christians who had been underground. We could see then that the Soviet Union was crumbling, and I asked everyone I met the same question: ?What is causing the demise of the Soviet Union?? Every dissident gave me the same one-word answer: ?Reagan.?
It?s part of Reagan?s enduring heritage as well that President George W. Bush has completely embraced this Reaganesque and distinctly Christian view of the world. As the greatest of all dissidents, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, pointed out, we in the comfortable West have lost our sense of good and evil and of world struggle. We?ve abandoned our Christian worldview and become content with our materialistic abundance and the ease it purchases. But in the gulags they never lost sight of good and evil, and to his everlasting credit, neither did Ronald Reagan.
For further reading and information:
?Announcing the Death of Ronald Reagan,? by the President of the United States, a Proclamation, White House Office of the Press Secretary, 6 June 2004. The president has appointed June 11, 2004, a National Day of Mourning.
?President?s Remarks on the Passing of President Ronald Reagan,? Ambassador?s Residence, Paris, France, White House Office of the Press Secretary, 5 June 2004.
See Michael Reagan?s statement on the passing of his father.
See biographical information about President Reagan on the White House website.
Visit the website for The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
Visit this tribute website for Ronald Reagan sponsored by Young America?s Foundation.
President Ronald Reagan, ?Remarks at Ecumenical Prayer Breakfast in Dallas, Texas,? 23 August 1984.
Read President Reagan?s speech at Normandy, France, on June 6, 1984 on the fortieth anniversary of D-Day.
Ronald Reagan, ?A Time for Choosing,? Wall Street Journal, 6 June 2004. This is Reagan?s October 27, 1964, speech in support of Barry Goldwater.
Ben Berkowitz, ?Family Mourns as America Pays Tribute to Reagan,? Reuters, 7 June 2004.
Alec Russell and Andrew Sparrow, ?Thatcher?s taped eulogy at Reagan funeral,? (London) Telegraph, 7 June 2004.
Jeff Wilson, ?Reagan?s Family Holds Private Service,? Reuters, 7 June 2004.
Peggy Noonan, ?Thanks from a Grateful Country,? Wall Street Journal, 7 June 2004.
John Fund, ?Freedom?s Team,? Wall Street Journal, 7 June 2004.
?The Reagan Restoration,? Wall Street Journal, 7 June 2004.
George Will, ?An Optimist?s Legacy,? Washington Post, 6 June 2004, B07.
Oliver North, ?Forever grateful,? Townhall.com, 7 June 2004.
Doug Gamble, ?Funnyman Reagan,? National Review Online, 7 June 2004.
See National Review Online?s Reagan archive.
Peggy Noonan, When Character Was King (Viking Press, 2001).
Kiron K. Skinner, et al. (eds.), Reagan: A Life in Letters (Free Press, 2003).
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, ?A World Split Apart,? commencement address at Harvard University, 8 June 1978.