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Remembering President Reagan, Fondly

[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]

Posted on June 11, 2004:

Senator Dyson Heís been gone for 10 years, really. Officially, President Ronald Reaganís death on Saturday finalized his life, but the terrible scourge of Alzheimerí s Disease robbed us of so many quality years we could have enjoyed with our former president had he not had that affliction.

If he not contracted Alzheimerís, Iím sure President Reagan would have served as one of our great national statesmen after his presidency because he was such a decent and fine person whose message of hope and decency resonated not with just Republicans, but also with many Democrats such as myself.

However, the grace with which he and his beloved wife Nancy handled his ailment was an inspiration to everyone and Iím sure will energize the race to cure this insidious disease.

So now that he is at peace; it is time to recall the greatness of a man who emboldened America and set about the end of the Cold War.

My friendship with President Reagan began in 1980 when we were both elected to federal office. He to the presidency, me to the United States House of Representatives. While we disagreed on some issues, we tended to agree more often than not.

I was a first-term Democratic U.S. Congressman assigned to the House Armed Services Committee when I first came to Washington to serve all of Southern Maryland, the Eastern Shore and Harford County in 1981.

It was an interesting time indeed to be a member of this committee at this time in history.

President Reagan rightfully thought that a strong national defense was vital to ensuring that our country remain the strongest, best prepared military in the world. The aggressive Soviet Union was and had been pursuing the same goal for years. I met with President Reagan many times throughout his eight-year presidency.

He was a man who put you at immediate ease. He had no pretenses and his word was golden. It has been said over and over again in the many loving tributes about the man that he loved America and that he was an unwavering optimist. I saw all of this first hand. Of all the public officials Iíve ever been around, President Reagan stands as one of the finest.

As I have said, he has been gone in mind, at least, for many years. The last few days since his death have given me reason not to mourn, but to celebrate a great American life. I consider it a great honor to have known and worked so closely on matters of global importance with a man I can honestly call my friend.

[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]

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