Sat 5 Jun, 2004 02:54 pm
His legacy will be written. Opinions will be considered and reconsidered.
He made quite a mark in world history.
I'm glad his suffering has ended.
I am glad that Nancy's suffering is over. She had to go thru seeing her beloved husband turning into a shell of his former self. May he rest in peace!
Ronald Reagan dies at 93
Former president had suffered from Alzheimer's disease
The Associated Press
Updated: 4:55 p.m. ET June 05, 2004WASHINGTON - Ronald Reagan, the cheerful crusader who devoted his presidency to winning the Cold War, trying to scale back government and making people believe it was "morning again in America," died Saturday after a long twilight struggle with Alzheimer's disease, a family friend said. He was 93.
He died at his home in California, according to the friend, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The White House was told his health had taken a turn for the worse in the last several days.
Five years after leaving office, the nation's 40th president told the world in November 1994 that he had been diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer's, an incurable illness that destroys brain cells. He said he had begun "the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life."
Reagan body was expected to be taken to his presidential library and museum in Simi Valley, Calif., and then flown to Washington to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda. His funeral was expected to be at the National Cathedral, an event likely to draw world leaders. The body was to be returned to California for a sunset burial at his library.
Reagan lived longer than any U.S. president, spending his last decade in the shrouded seclusion wrought by his disease, tended by his wife, Nancy, whom he called Mommy, and the select few closest to him. Now, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton are the surviving ex-presidents.
Although fiercely protective of Reagan's privacy, the former first lady let people know his mental condition had deteriorated terribly. Last month, she said: "Ronnie's long journey has finally taken him to a distant place where I can no longer reach him."
Reagan's oldest daughter, Maureen, from his first marriage, died in August 2001 at age 60 from cancer. Three other children survive: Michael, from his first marriage, and Patti Davis and Ron from his second.
Over two terms, from 1981 to 1989, Reagan reshaped the Republican Party in his conservative image, fixed his eye on the demise of the Soviet Union and Eastern European communism and tripled the national debt to $3 trillion in his singleminded competition with the other superpower.
Taking office at age 69, Reagan had already lived a career outside Washington, one that spanned work as a radio sports announcer, an actor, a television performer, a spokesman for the General Electric Co., and a two-term governor of California.
Ronald Reagan is a man who has earned my respect.
Few have had such an impact on, and indeed changed the world.
It must have been very frustrating for him these last years--being a very bright and active man, then Alzheimer's taking his mind...he is surely much happier now.
When I was a boy I and my whole family loved Reagan. We watched him act at every opportunity. I had no illusions about his acting or the films he took part in. Mainly it was his personality. When he became a politician my brother loved him in a near worshipful way and I suppose he still does. RR was the sort of man could do that to you.
<thankful for kind sentiments>
Didn't expect to be so sad.
I always liked him as well. May he finally rest in peace.
Although President Reagan's death was not unexpected, I did feel sad when I heard the news. I so respect him for the many good things he did to make this world a better place. Ending the Cold War is one of his greatest achievements made during his presidency. His sense of timing was always so good...even in death. The eve of the 60th anniveresary of D Day.
He had a great sense of humor and was a genius when it came to diplomacy.
The love between he and Nancy is amazing. She is all the things a really good wife should be. I respect her for the strength and loyalty she gave to her husband.
I have no doubt I will shed quite a few tears when I watch President Reagan's funeral next week. My condolences go out to his family and friends. RR was loved and respected by so many people the world over.
Ronnie, may you Rest In Peace.
I am glad to see that others feel the same way about regan as I do. I truly thought I was being silly when I felt bothered by his death. Though I have never agreed/voted for/ or supported many republican views , I did agree with and appreciate Regan and his points of view.
I remember when I was young he made an appearance here in Austin at the Holiday Inn on town lake . My mother ( of high social standing ) was invited to the conference. Afterwords he was leaving the room and stopped to talk to ME! I was sooo excited.. I didnt know my butt from a whole in the ground but that sure rocked my little world. I have no clue what he said to me.. all I knew was that he was really nice. And he seemed like a 'grandfather' type . Someone who a kid like me would always tug at thier moms asking to go visit. He just has a nice 'air' to him. As I got older, I appreciated that same feeling from him and actually started to pay attention to politics at a younger age > just because I could brag at school having met a former president< Of course.. I would STRRRETCH that story in class!!
Having worked with hundreds of alzheimers patients, it really hurts me to think that he went through what I have seen many others go through. He and his family unfortunatly are much more at ease now he is gone because of the disease. I do wish him and his family the best. Maybe... someday soon when a republican takes office again >sigh< he will be like Regan? That would be pretty cool.
I've been a bit surprised by my response to this news - I'm truely saddened. I didn't know much about politics when he was president, but I remember I was wary of him at the very least. I did like his personality, though, still do. I'm glad he's beyond the alzheimers now, such a hard disease.
What a rough several years I'm sure it's been for his family. May they find peace now.
Re: Reagan Has Died.
I guess the Republicans have to have someone to idolise since we have Kennedy. The man pretty much died about 15 years ago, incoherent during his last couple years in office. But I guess that sums up the Republican party pretty well. I think he died about 20 years too late. We'll probably never undo the damage he's done. I know all of those farmers will never get their farms back that he took from them in the '80's. I say good riddens. He was a horrible American President that never did anything significant that was good for the country. But let the Republicans have their few days of grief. Too bad this is coming out of our taxes...
Rover, you are classless.
Have you forgotten that Reagan won 49 states? Mondale won only his own state. (As a sidebar, Al Gore didn't even win his own state).
How about growing some class, and let the people grieve their loss of someone whom they admired?
You are so very selfish to make such comments in the face of people who are hurting right now.
Are you planning on holding a protest at the funeral, too?
Again, classless. Without class. Class-deficient.
Don't get me wrong, I think Regan was a good guy and a good president, and some dramatic world events occurred during his presidency, but I was a little bit surprised by the level of emotion and attention his passing has evoked.
I was young when Regan was in office, so maybe I'm just not remembering his contributions (besides , "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall
), but I'm just wondering what it was about Regan which gave him such a following. Was it Regan "the man", or Regan "the president"?
Also, I don't recall the last president who passed away. Is this level of attention normal for ex presidents, or is this somewhat exceptional?
Richard Nixon died about 1992, I think. His family chose a private funeral, I believe.
Our local paper was not kind; the headline read, "Ex President Nixon Dead" (while technically true, it is not the proper headline to use when a former leader of your country dies).
Why should the level of emotion and attention surprise you?
e.g. What did Princess Di do to change the world? Emotion and attention over her tragic death still lingers today.
Mother Theresa died a week after Diana. Mother Theresa received about two days in the news. I think it's clear who deserved more accolades and who got them.
I think Reagan was unique in that he communicated well with everyone, and had a great personality and terrific sense of humor (after being shot, he told Nancy, "I'm sorry, Nancy; I forgot to duck.").
I think he was also a great leader. He brought both major parties in Congress together to accomplish some great things, including encouraging the destruction of the Berlin Wall, and turning our economy back around.
He was exceptional, and the outpouring of affection and respect have been as well.
Quite a tribute that Lech Walesa, and Gorby attended his funeral. Millions in the Eastern European nations were freed possibly decades earlier than they would have been because of Reagan's tenacity, Thatcher's solidarity and Gorbachev's uncommon courage and pragmatism. It was providential that the three, along with John Paul were serving simultaneously.
Kennedy didn't come close to Reagan's achievements, but because of a horrible death and his charisma--he was mourned to the degree Reagan was. FDR has been the only President in recent history to be loved as Reagan was, and rightly so. Something I hope many will see, though, is the providential leadership of Churchill, alondside FDR. These men made the hard choices, and changed the world for the better. They ACTED in the face of crisis.
Lincoln is the only other besides Washington, who earned the admiration of the others mentioned here, IMO.
LBJ had the last state funeral. Nixon, probably correctly because of the disgrace of his leave-taking, opted out of a state funeral.
Reagan began fighting Communism in America, as SAG President. I think if one read his memoirs, they would see why he is so respected. If communism were just an economic plan--without the oppression, who would care? I think people don't give the reality of Communism proper criticism.
Felt sorry for Gorby at the funeral. Too much Evil Empire, though it was real, and too less verbalized appreciation for Gorby's responsibility in what occurred. Bush 1 gave him a line of props, and was the only one who had a hard time speaking.
Maggie's tribute was wonderful. What a treasure.