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Pausing to honor a fallen president

By Michael Fjetland          Send a link to a friend

[JUNE 8, 2004]  Our deepest condolences to Nancy Reagan and family over the great loss of our former president.

Reagan was a great statesman who won the Cold War without firing a single shot. He was admirable because he treated all people with respect and kindness. It is for this reason that he was known as the Great Communicator. Few politicians rise to the level of statesman.

Reagan was an icon to his own and successor generations. His presidency set the standard for all following Republican administrations, but people forget that he also treated opponents with dignity and respect. We could use more of Reagan's communication genius, seeking American common ground in lieu of the partisan bickering that has taken his place.

Reagan's kindness was reflected in former President Bush 41's stance of being a "kinder, gentler" nation. No where is it more evident than in the Bush 41 administration -- which forged a master coalition of nations in the first Gulf War -- that kindness and respect does not equal weakness.


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It is fitting on this D-Day anniversary week as we pause and remember our precious veterans and all who died in the service of our country. President Reagan was one of those also.

I believe that Reagan would wholeheartedly approve of the present President Bush visiting with the pope, a venerable World War II survivor, and opening potentially valuable negotiations with our allies in Europe, including France.

We will miss President Reagan and his smile. I am reminded of his own words after the Challenger tragedy, including the loss of a schoolteacher before millions of school children, which greatly affected him:

"You have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
to touch the face of God."

[Michael Fjetland,
candidate for U.S. Congress]

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