As I looked out a moment ago from the Reichstag, that embodiment of German unity, I noticed words crudely spray-painted upon the wall, perhaps by a young Berliner: "This wall will fall. Beliefs become reality." Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall. For it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom.
...We're a nation of optimists. We're the can-do people. And we just have to believe in ourselves.
Yesterday, we lost one of our greatest optimists. President Reagan's belief in America was infectious.
And because of the way he led, he taught us that there was a difference between strong beliefs and bitter partisanship.
He was the voice of America in good times and in grief. On another D-Day twenty years ago, he stood on that windswept cliff at Normandy and paid an imperishable tribute to the glorious boys of Point du Hoc. Many who had survived were there with him that day, and he spoke the nation's heart. Many who had survived were there with him that day, and he spoke the nation's heart. When he stood at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, he said, "Mr. Gorbechev, tear down this wall." He spoke for our country, for the eternal cause of liberty, and most of all for the millions imprisoned behind that wall who would soon after tear it down. Free men and women everywhere will forever remember and honor President Reagans role in ending the Cold War. He really did believe that communism could be ended in his lifetime, and he helped to make it happen. Perhaps President Reagans greatest monument isnt any building or any structure that bears his name, but the absence of the Berlin Wall.
When we lost the brave astronauts in the Challenger tragedy, he reminded us that, "Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue."
Yesterday, his own journey ended a long and storied trip that spanned most of the American century -- and shaped one of the greatest victories of freedom.
Today in the face of new challenges, President Reagan's example reminds us that we must move forward with optimism and resolve.
He was our oldest president, but he made America young again.
We pause for a moment to pray for his family, and the wife he loved in a way all the world could see. And to the end, she loved him with courage and complete devotion.
The American spirit wears no political label. In service to others and yes, in sacrifice for our country, there are no Republicans; there are no Democrats; there are only Americans....
George Bush's statement.
Todd Purdum of the NY Times is good.
And we will interrupt this spirit of bipartisnship to note that Ronald Reagan simply cannot be understood without first grasping the enormity of Jimmy Carter. Here is the so-called "national malaise" speech that started my personal journey to the Right. The first couple of paragraphs recount the extraordinary circumstances - President Carter left for a weekend retreat to Camp David, promising a speech on the energy crisis upon his return. Instead, the weekend became a ten-day national listening tour, culminating in the speech shown.