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Text of Margaret Thatcher's Eulogy For President Ronald Reagan
AP ^

Posted on 06/11/2004 4:06:02 PM PDT by Happy2BMe

We have lost a great president, a great American, and a great man. And I have lost a dear friend.

In his lifetime Ronald Reagan ( - ) was such a cheerful and invigorating presence that it was easy to forget what daunting historic tasks he set himself. He sought to mend America's wounded spirit, to restore the strength of the free world, and to free the slaves of communism. These were causes hard to accomplish and heavy with risk.

Yet they were pursued with almost a lightness of spirit. For Ronald Reagan also embodied another great cause - what Arnold Bennett once called `the great cause of cheering us all up'. His politics had a freshness and optimism that won converts from every class and every nation - and ultimately from the very heart of the evil empire.

Yet his humour often had a purpose beyond humour. In the terrible hours after the attempt on his life, his easy jokes gave reassurance to an anxious world. They were evidence that in the aftermath of terror and in the midst of hysteria, one great heart at least remained sane and jocular. They were truly grace under pressure.

And perhaps they signified grace of a deeper kind. Ronnie himself certainly believed that he had been given back his life for a purpose. As he told a priest after his recovery `Whatever time I've got left now belongs to the Big Fella Upstairs'.

And surely it is hard to deny that Ronald Reagan's life was providential, when we look at what he achieved in the eight years that followed.

Others prophesied the decline of the West; he inspired America and its allies with renewed faith in their mission of freedom.

Others saw only limits to growth; he transformed a stagnant economy into an engine of opportunity.

Others hoped, at best, for an uneasy cohabitation with the Soviet Union; he won the Cold War - not only without firing a shot, but also by inviting enemies out of their fortress and turning them into friends.

I cannot imagine how any diplomat, or any dramatist, could improve on his words to Mikhail Gorbachev at the Geneva summit: `Let me tell you why it is we distrust you.' Those words are candid and tough and they cannot have been easy to hear. But they are also a clear invitation to a new beginning and a new relationship that would be rooted in trust.

We live today in the world that Ronald Reagan began to reshape with those words. It is a very different world with different challenges and new dangers. All in all, however, it is one of greater freedom and prosperity, one more hopeful than the world he inherited on becoming president.

As Prime Minister, I worked closely with Ronald Reagan for eight of the most important years of all our lives. We talked regularly both before and after his presidency. And I have had time and cause to reflect on what made him a great president.

Ronald Reagan knew his own mind. He had firm principles - and, I believe, right ones. He expounded them clearly, he acted upon them decisively.

When the world threw problems at the White House, he was not baffled, or disorientated, or overwhelmed. He knew almost instinctively what to do.

When his aides were preparing option papers for his decision, they were able to cut out entire rafts of proposals that they knew `the Old Man' would never wear.

When his allies came under Soviet or domestic pressure, they could look confidently to Washington for firm leadership.

And when his enemies tested American resolve, they soon discovered that his resolve was firm and unyielding.

Yet his ideas, though clear, were never simplistic. He saw the many sides of truth.

Yes, he warned that the Soviet Union had an insatiable drive for military power and territorial expansion; but he also sensed it was being eaten away by systemic failures impossible to reform.

Yes, he did not shrink from denouncing Moscow's `evil empire'. But he realised that a man of goodwill might nonetheless emerge from within its dark corridors.

So the President resisted Soviet expansion and pressed down on Soviet weakness at every point until the day came when communism began to collapse beneath the combined weight of these pressures and its own failures. And when a man of goodwill did emerge from the ruins, President Reagan stepped forward to shake his hand and to offer sincere cooperation.

Nothing was more typical of Ronald Reagan than that large-hearted magnanimity - and nothing was more American.

Therein lies perhaps the final explanation of his achievements. Ronald Reagan carried the American people with him in his great endeavours because there was perfect sympathy between them. He and they loved America and what it stands for - freedom and opportunity for ordinary people.

As an actor in Hollywood's golden age, he helped to make the American dream live for millions all over the globe. His own life was a fulfilment of that dream. He never succumbed to the embarrassment some people feel about an honest expression of love of country.

He was able to say `God Bless America' with equal fervour in public and in private. And so he was able to call confidently upon his fellow-countrymen to make sacrifices for America - and to make sacrifices for those who looked to America for hope and rescue.

With the lever of American patriotism, he lifted up the world. And so today the world - in Prague, in Budapest, in Warsaw, in Sofia, in Bucharest, in Kiev and in Moscow itself - the world mourns the passing of the Great Liberator and echoes his prayer "God Bless America".

Ronald Reagan's life was rich not only in public achievement, but also in private happiness. Indeed, his public achievements were rooted in his private happiness. The great turning point of his life was his meeting and marriage with Nancy.

On that we have the plain testimony of a loving and grateful husband: `Nancy came along and saved my soul'. We share her grief today. But we also share her pride - and the grief and pride of Ronnie's children.

For the final years of his life, Ronnie's mind was clouded by illness. That cloud has now lifted. He is himself again - more himself than at any time on this earth. For we may be sure that the Big Fella Upstairs never forgets those who remember Him. And as the last journey of this faithful pilgrim took him beyond the sunset, and as heaven's morning broke, I like to think - in the words of Bunyan - that `all the trumpets sounded on the other side'.

We here still move in twilight. But we have one beacon to guide us that Ronald Reagan never had. We have his example. Let us give thanks today for a life that achieved so much for all of God's children."


TOPICS: Extended News
KEYWORDS: eulogy; reagan; ronaldreagan; thatcher; transcript
Thank you Margaret!
1 posted on 06/11/2004 4:06:02 PM PDT by Happy2BMe
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To: onyx; MeekOneGOP; Reagan Man; Reaganwuzthebest; Smartass; MadIvan

"We here still move in twilight. But we have one beacon to guide us that Ronald Reagan never had. We have his example. Let us give thanks today for a life that achieved so much for all of God's children."


2 posted on 06/11/2004 4:07:17 PM PDT by Happy2BMe (Ronald Reagan to Islamic Terrorism: YOU CAN RUN - BUT YOU CAN'T HIDE!)
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To: Happy2BMe

My favorite part.
Thanks so much.
BOOKMARKED of course.


3 posted on 06/11/2004 4:13:38 PM PDT by onyx
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To: Happy2BMe
Ronald Reagan knew his own mind. He had firm principles - and, I believe, right ones. He expounded them clearly, he acted upon them decisively.

These words from Lady Thatcher, sum up Ronald Reagan pretty well.

4 posted on 06/11/2004 4:13:53 PM PDT by Reagan Man (The choice is clear. Reelect BUSH-CHENEY !)
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To: Happy2BMe

"We here still move in twilight. But we have one beacon to guide us that Ronald Reagan never had. We have his example. Let us give thanks today for a life that achieved so much for all of God's children."



This is also a wonderful metaphor for the beacon of liberty that our nation provides for all other nations.


5 posted on 06/11/2004 4:16:51 PM PDT by Atlas Sneezed (Your Friendly Freeper Patent Attorney)
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To: Happy2BMe

is there text of the whole funeral. i would really like to know if there is. i also want the picture of the clampets sleeping during the mass. i am going to mount it on my office wall.


6 posted on 06/11/2004 4:38:28 PM PDT by satchmodog9 (it's coming and if you don't get off the tracks it will run you down)
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To: Happy2BMe
"Thanks for posting this!" PING
7 posted on 06/11/2004 4:41:11 PM PDT by hummingbird ("If it wasn't for the insomnia, I could have gotten some sleep!")
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To: Happy2BMe

as best I can recall it from today's Hugh Hewitt Show, here is the only comment
that Peter Jennings and Sam Donaldson could drum up over Lady Thatcher's eulogy:

"Americans will think it was stuffy."
--Sam Donaldson

I do seriously wonder what the color of the moons are on the home planet of most jouralists.


8 posted on 06/11/2004 4:42:29 PM PDT by VOA
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To: Happy2BMe
Thatcher paid a great tribute to the greatest President of the 20th Century today.

I was proud of her.


9 posted on 06/11/2004 4:55:59 PM PDT by MeekOneGOP (Call me the Will Rogers voter: I never met a Democrat I didn't like - to vote OUT OF POWER !)
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To: Happy2BMe
I heard a good part of Mrs. Thatcher's speech on radio.

I was very moved by what she had said of President Reagan.

What a Classy woman she is. May God Himself bless her.

10 posted on 06/11/2004 4:56:09 PM PDT by GulfWar1Vet (MidMO FReepers! See www.hometown.aol.com/MidMOFreeper for FreeRepublic Chapter of Mid-Missouri...)
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To: Happy2BMe

Truly, one of the most moving parts of a fitting ceremony for one of our greatest leaders. Thank you, Iron Lady!


11 posted on 06/11/2004 4:56:44 PM PDT by hunter112
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To: Happy2BMe
Mrs. Thatchers speech would have made Churchill proud.
12 posted on 06/11/2004 5:01:34 PM PDT by CrazyIvan (Death before dishonor, open bar after 6:00)
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To: Happy2BMe

Thanks for posting it. Beautiful.


13 posted on 06/11/2004 5:17:43 PM PDT by Dante3
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To: Happy2BMe
Lady Thatcher has always been great in my eyes. Like PM Tony Blair, she never wavered and always said what she meant and MEANT what she said! One of England's great leaders!
14 posted on 06/11/2004 5:29:24 PM PDT by teletech (Friends don't let friends vote DemocRAT!)
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To: Happy2BMe
And as the last journey of this faithful pilgrim took him beyond the sunset, and as heaven's morning broke, I like to think - in the words of Bunyan - that `all the trumpets sounded on the other side'.

sniff

15 posted on 06/11/2004 5:36:17 PM PDT by grellis (What's a rooster and mashed potatos have to do with being a pirate?)
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To: IncPen

ping


16 posted on 06/11/2004 5:38:09 PM PDT by BartMan1
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To: Happy2BMe
"Nothing was more typical of Ronald Reagan than that large-hearted magnanimity - and nothing was more American."

There are so very many great lines from this eulogy, but this was my favorite.

When you think of the way many Europeans, and sometimes even many Brits look down their nose at Americans, this line was pure class. Thank you, Lady Thatcher!

17 posted on 06/11/2004 5:39:31 PM PDT by A Citizen Reporter
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To: Happy2BMe

It was a lovely, moving testimony. I wish I could find video of her curseying as she passed his casket. What a classy lady. What a great friend and ally.

Dan


18 posted on 06/11/2004 5:39:57 PM PDT by BibChr ("...behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" [Jer. 8:9])
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To: Happy2BMe

"Yes, he warned that the Soviet Union had an insatiable drive for military power and territorial expansion; but he also sensed it was being eaten away by systemic failures impossible to reform.

Yes, he did not shrink from denouncing Moscow's `evil empire'. But he realised that a man of goodwill might nonetheless emerge from within its dark corridors.

So the President resisted Soviet expansion and pressed down on Soviet weakness at every point until the day came when communism began to collapse beneath the combined weight of these pressures and its own failures. And when a man of goodwill did emerge from the ruins, President Reagan stepped forward to shake his hand and to offer sincere cooperation.

Nothing was more typical of Ronald Reagan than that large-hearted magnanimity - and nothing was more American."


19 posted on 06/11/2004 5:56:14 PM PDT by noncitizen (Until today, I have never been moved to tears by speeches from dignitaries. Well said, Lady Thatcher)
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To: Happy2BMe

A great speech from that other great leader of the eighties Margaret Thatcher, a true friend of the United States.


20 posted on 06/11/2004 8:37:29 PM PDT by Reaganwuzthebest
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To: Happy2BMe

She made a sob rise in my throat with her simple first line. She did a wonderful job. Once again, RWR's judgment is proven correct. Thank you, Ladt Thacher.


21 posted on 06/11/2004 8:53:50 PM PDT by Ruth A.
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To: Happy2BMe

Thank you, Lady Thatcher, a true friend.


22 posted on 06/11/2004 10:35:03 PM PDT by Beth ("Good bye, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America."--Ronald W. Reagan)
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To: Happy2BMe
The lady is most gracious.
23 posted on 06/11/2004 10:55:53 PM PDT by JasonC
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To: Happy2BMe

Glorious Lady!


24 posted on 06/11/2004 11:56:14 PM PDT by lainde (Heads up...We're coming and we've got tongue blades!!)
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To: Happy2BMe

I thought her talk was one of the best I've ever heard, one for the history books.


25 posted on 06/12/2004 12:08:12 AM PDT by dano1
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To: Reaganwuzthebest; All
Integrity, honesty, diligence, love of God and country, bravery, vigilance, patience, goodness, and right - all describe Margaret Thatcher.

Margaret Thatcher is the *real* British Royalty.

If only one ounce of her integrity would rub off on the rest of those in Buckingham Palace.

26 posted on 06/12/2004 6:49:56 AM PDT by Happy2BMe (Ronald Reagan to Islamic Terrorism: YOU CAN RUN - BUT YOU CAN'T HIDE!)
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To: satchmodog9
HERE
27 posted on 06/12/2004 6:57:42 AM PDT by Happy2BMe (Ronald Reagan to Islamic Terrorism: YOU CAN RUN - BUT YOU CAN'T HIDE!)
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To: Happy2BMe

bttt


28 posted on 06/12/2004 12:12:34 PM PDT by Reaganwuzthebest
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To: Happy2BMe

But we have one beacon to guide us that Ronald Reagan never had. We have his example.

This is by far one of the greatest compliments given to anyone!


29 posted on 07/31/2006 11:22:01 AM PDT by lvrofbrnrds
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