Skip to comments.Peggy Noonan: What I Saw at the Evacuation
Posted on 06/24/2004 5:02:59 AM PDT by presidio9
What I was thinking was: they brought their souls. We are all these physical repositories of ourselves, of our characters and personalities and ambitions. But everybody is a soul, has a soul, and all these people gathered for the funeral of a great man, and their souls came.
I tell you this because it somehow has to do with something that followed.
Many, not all, were aging or old. They had run the country 20 and 30 years ago. They had lived lives of import and meaning. But they were not this afternoon their official selves, their old formal selves, but something else.
We were in the Mansfield room, just off the Capitol Rotunda, a big tall gold-trimmed room ringed with old oil portraits of great men--Jefferson, Adams. As I stood near the entrance looking out at them, I had a visual memory of a book party long ago, in 1990 I think, in the sizeable outdoor yard of William Safire's house in suburban Maryland. It was late springtime or early summer. A sudden breeze came up, strong and out of nowhere, and hundreds, thousands, of small petals and pieces of pollen filled the air, and fell upon our heads. Like a benediction. It seemed barely noticed by the busy talkers, who laughed and shook their heads and continued talking. But it was beautiful. God is here. At the Capitol, there were 100 or so of us in the room, friends and colleagues and co-workers of Ronald Reagan. Air Force One would soon bring back to Washington his flag draped coffin. From Andrews Air Force Base a cortege would take him to the Capitol. The senators and congressmen were already massing in the Rotunda, where they would receive him. There would be a ceremony, and speeches. Then the politicians would leave, and the friends and colleagues of Reagan would leave the Mansfield Room to enter the Rotunda and say goodbye to him. A day of high state, of dignity and tradition.
In that room were a laughing Jack and Joanne Kemp, leaders of the 1970s revolution that became part of the '80s revolution. Richard Allen, Reagan's first national security adviser. Judge William Clark, his second. Ed and Ursula Meese, who were there from the early days, in California. Paul and Carol Laxalt--Paul probably Reagan's best friend in the Senate, Carol bubbly as champagne. Jim Miller, his budget director, still a big man in a gray suit, and his wife.
Jeane Kirkpatrick, dignified, straight standing, with great cheekbones and saucy or potentially saucy eyes. Somewhere along the way, I have always felt, she made a decision. She chose to follow the academic and analytical part of her nature--"There is a difference between totalitarian governments and authoritarian governments and we must acknowledge it"--and not perhaps other parts of her inner self, parts perhaps less definitive and constructive, and maybe more fun. But that kind of decision was true of a lot of people there, and always is when leaders are gathered. The pope felt the promptings of an artist, and followed another type of spiritual call.
(Excerpt) Read more at opinionjournal.com ...
Peggy Noonan is always thoughtful, always worth reading, here more than ever.
Wonder what Peggy will think of the IMUS show this morning. Frank Rich attacking the week of memorial for President Reagan. IMUS egging him on in total disrespect.
Ms. Noonan sure does have a way with words!
A must read article!
Frank Rich and Imus between them don't have the class or the dignity to carry Peggy Noonan's bags. She radiates class. They reek of pond scum.
You're too kind to IMUS and Rich.
And too mean to pond scum :-)
bump for later.
Rich and Imus, queer and queerer.
Peggy Noonan has always been class. She is the one who wrote the Challenger Speech for Reagan. Of course, "...slipped the surly bonds of earth, to touch the face of God." is excerpted from High Flight.
Last paragraph of Challenger speech, written by Peggy Noonan.
The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved good-bye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God."
Remember, Reagan was set to give the State of the Union that night, but instead gave this speech beacuse of the Challenger disaster. Just a little history refreser for us all...so we dont allow the re-writers any chance.
|We listened to her stories of history as the drums beat for Ronald Reagan on the jumbo TV. And at that moment on a Sony Jumbotron in a little table in a railroad station bar, we watched the body of Ronald Reagan arrive at Andrews and be met by a car. There were other people there in the bar and they were young office workers commuters talking on cell phones and flirting and laughing. I got up and went to the bar, I introduced myself and told them we'd been evacuated and now we were watching our friend come home to us from California and I asked if they'd like to join us and they were very kind and sweet and lowered their voices and a few came and turned their seats to join us and watch.
Michael Savage was attacking the week of memorial for President Reagan before it even started. I was skimming through the radio dial on the evening of June 7 when I came across Savage ranting about it being too much.
Personality disorders abound these days. And that's putting it mildly.
Frank Rich is a frustrated little queen. How he wields such power in NYC is beyond me.
read later bump
I am thinking of going to the local Barnes and Noble and mixing copies of Noonan's "When Character was King" in with MY Lie!
I'm growing very weary of Imus's illogical rants.
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