As President Ronald Reagan’s procession comes to Washington today, we remember and honor his extraordinary legacy and contributions to this country and the world. From seeing the Berlin Wall crumble, accelerating the defeat of Communism, and winning the Cold War we honor President Reagan as an historic world leader. From helping regain the American spirit to bringing government closer to the people and reversing the trend of a cumbersome bureaucracy, we honor President Reagan’s domestic legacy. He deserves our admiration.
As a visionary, President Reagan began a bold program to develop the defensive means to protect our nation and its people. Today, his vision is becoming a reality with the upcoming deployment of our first protection against ballistic missiles carrying weapons of mass destruction. As we near the initial deployment of the ground-based missile defense system in Alaska, we look back at President Reagan’s words addressing the American people on national security and missile defense. Over twenty years ago on March 23, 1983, Reagan’s vision is now becoming our reality.
“Now more than ever it is vital that the United States not back down from its efforts to develop and deploy strategic defenses. It is technologically feasible, strategically necessary and morally imperative for if our nation and our precious freedoms are worth defending with the threat of annihilation, we are surely worth defending by defensive means that ensure our survival.”
President Ronald Reagan, March 23, 1993
As we mourn President Reagan’s death, we should also take time to celebrate his leadership, vision, and conviction which has taken the American people closer to the time when the specter of nuclear catastrophe from ballistic missiles will no longer face the people of the world. The reduction of nuclear weapons and the upcoming deployment of missile defense have made our country, our citizens and our allies, our children and grandchildren safer today and will continue to do so in the years to come.
Thank you Mr. President.