Honoring the Reagans
“Let us begin an era of national renewal. Let us renew our determination,
our courage, and our strength. And let us renew our faith and our hope.” –
President Ronald Reagan in his first inaugural speech, Tuesday, January 20,
Former President Ronald Reagan spoke these words almost two decades ago at his first inauguration ceremony, held on the terrace of the West Front of the U.S. Capitol.
For eight years, as President of the United States, Ronald Reagan successfully turned the tide of public cynicism and sparked a national renewal, marked by economic growth, military superiority, and international change.
Serving as the leader of the world’s greatest superpower, former President
Reagan, however, preferred to see himself as a simple citizen who had been
called upon to come to the aid of the nation he so loved. He believed fervently in the American Dream and wanted the American people to realize it fully.
Continually by his side was his gracious first lady, Nancy, a distinguished
leader in her own right. She traveled tirelessly throughout the country
promoting her famous “Just Say No” campaign, a project aimed at preventing alcohol and drug use among our youth.
Together, the Reagans selflessly dedicated their lives to promoting national
pride and bettering the quality of life in America. Today, Ronald Reagan
will celebrate his 89th birthday at home in California, where he continues
his battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Mrs. Reagan remains committed to community service. In his honor, she has become a national advocate for heightening Alzheimer’s disease awareness.
To commemorate his birthday and more importantly, their service and
commitment to our great nation, this week, I will be introducing legislation
with my colleague, Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn (8th district, Washington),
in the U.S. House of Representatives to award the Congressional Gold Medal
to former President and First Lady, Ronald and Nancy Reagan. Over 175
members of the House of Representatives have already expressed their support by becoming original sponsors of the bill. It has been my distinct honor to lead the effort to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the Reagans- a fitting tribute in recognition of their dedication to our nation.
U.S. Rep. Jim Gibbons, a Republican from Reno, represents most of Nevada outside Las Vegas in the House of Representatives.