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Bush Senior's Eulogy for President Reagan
George Bush

Posted on 06/12/2004 9:01:55 AM PDT by Types_with_Fist

When Franklin Roosevelt died in 1945, the New York Times wrote, "Men will thank God 100 years from now that Franklin D. Roosevelt was in the White House."

It will not take 100 years to thank God for Ronald Reagan. But why? Why was he so admired? Why was he so beloved?

He was beloved, first, because of what he was. Politics can be cruel, uncivil. Our friend was strong and gentle.

Once he called America hopeful, big-hearted, idealistic, daring, decent and fair. That was America and, yes, our friend.

And next, Ronald Reagan was beloved because of what he believed. He believed in America so he made it his shining city on a hill. He believed in freedom so he acted on behalf of its values and ideals. He believed in tomorrow so The Great Communicator became The Great Liberator.

He talked of winning one for the Gipper and as president, through his relationship with Mikhail Gorbachev, with us today, the Gipper and, yes, Mikhail Gorbachev won one for peace around the world.

If Ronald Reagan created a better world for many millions it was because of the world someone else created for him.

Nancy was there for him always. Her love for him provided much of his strength, and their love together transformed all of us as we've seen - renewed seeing again here in the last few days.

And one of the many memories we all have of both of them is the comfort they provided during our national tragedies.

Whether it was the families of the crew of the Challenger shuttle or the USS Stark or the Marines killed in Beirut, we will never forget those images of the president and first lady embracing them and embracing us during times of sorrow.

So, Nancy, I want to say this to you: Today, America embraces you. We open up our arms. We seek to comfort you, to tell you of our admiration for your courage and your selfless caring.

And to the Reagan kids - it's OK for me to say that at 80 - Michael, Ron, Patti, today all of our sympathy, all of our condolences to you all, and remember, too, your sister Maureen home safe now with her father.

As his vice president for eight years, I learned more from Ronald Reagan than from anyone I encountered in all my years of public life. I learned kindness; we all did. I also learned courage; the nation did.

Who can forget the horrible day in March 1981, he looked at the doctors in the emergency room and said, "I hope you're all Republicans."

And then I learned decency; the whole world did. Days after being shot, weak from wounds, he spilled water from a sink, and entering the hospital room aides saw him on his hands and knees wiping water from the floor. He worried that his nurse would get in trouble.

The good book says humility goes before honor, and our friend had both, and who could not cherish such a man?

And perhaps as important as anything, I learned a lot about humor, a lot about laughter. And, oh, how President Reagan loved a good story.

When asked, "How did your visit go with Bishop Tutu?" he replied, "So-so."

It was typical. It was wonderful.

And in leaving the White House, the very last day, he left in the yard outside the Oval Office door a little sign for the squirrels. He loved to feed those squirrels. And he left this sign that said, "Beware of the dog," and to no avail, because our dog Millie came in and beat the heck out of the squirrels.

But anyway, he also left me a note, at the top of which said, "Don't let the turkeys get you down."

Well, he certainly never let them get him down. And he fought hard for his beliefs. But he led from conviction, but never made an adversary into an enemy. He was never mean-spirited.

Reverend Billy Graham, who I refer to as the nation's pastor, is now hospitalized and regrets that he can't be here today. And I asked him for a Bible passage that might be appropriate. And he suggested this from Psalm 37: "The Lord delights in the way of the man whose steps he has made firm. Though he stumble, he will not fall for the Lord upholds him with his hand."

And then this, too, from 37: "There is a future for the man of peace."

God bless you, Ronald Wilson Reagan and the nation you loved and led so well.

TOPICS: Government
KEYWORDS: bush41; georgehwbush; nationalcathedral; reaganfuneral; ronaldreagan; transcript
I apologize if this is already posted. I was here all day yesterday and this was the only eulogy I did not see. I think this, along with Cheney's comments, are the best of the bunch. The former President's choking up choked me up as well. It's been a long while, and I forgot what a good and kind-hearted man Bush Senior is. I suppose that's why he was President Reagan's VP, because Reagan sensed this about him too.
1 posted on 06/12/2004 9:01:57 AM PDT by Types_with_Fist
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To: Types_with_Fist

I think Baroness Thatcher's eulogy was by far the classiest, most artful tribute I've ever heard. Dubya's and even Mulroney's speeches were also superior to GHWB's speech. I like the guy, and I got choked up along with him, but while good, his was the least moving of the speakers I heard.

2 posted on 06/12/2004 9:12:07 AM PDT by sam_paine (X .................................)
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To: Types_with_Fist

Thank you for posting this. I did not see it yesterday on TV and hadn't had an opportunity, until now, to read its fine text.

3 posted on 06/12/2004 9:16:05 AM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: BenLurkin

You're welcome. I really had to search around for this. Oddly, it was the only one not posted it seems. All the remarks were very good, and it was certainly a fine service. I was simply touched by the way this one was delivered. I thought Cheney's remarks the other day were also exceptional.

4 posted on 06/12/2004 9:18:13 AM PDT by Types_with_Fist (God Bless Ronald Reagan!)
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To: sam_paine

I disagree. There were many exceptional performances this week but this was George H. Bush's finest hour.

5 posted on 06/12/2004 9:18:32 AM PDT by bigeasy_70118
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To: Types_with_Fist

Mikhail Gorbachev deserves alot of praise for attending. Bush's eulogy was very touching. Very touching.

6 posted on 06/12/2004 9:30:39 AM PDT by jpsb (Nominated 1994 "Worst writer on the net")
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To: Types_with_Fist

I had only heard a bit of this, where he choked up. The story about the squirrels will stick with me, showing the good nature of 41 and Reagan - and the mischievous nature of Millie.

7 posted on 06/12/2004 10:48:08 AM PDT by Moonmad27 (Vote for GWB in November - make liberals miserable for ANOTHER four years!)
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To: Moonmad27

I just thank God that Bozo the Clinton was not allowed to speak! He just sat there with a silly grin on his face (when he was not dozing off), with the scowling Hildebeast next to him! That pair of rude pigs have no manners, and do not know how to conduct themselves in public. Of course they have no religious faith, and the morals of alley cats, so one should not be surprised. Bush, Sr.'s tribute was good - even classy from him. Though, I agree that Dame Thatcher out did the others in eloquence and dignity. Kudos to her for attending in person, though she was obviously not in the best of health.

8 posted on 06/12/2004 10:58:23 AM PDT by thor76
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To: thor76
Do you think Klintoon was taking notes this week? Or he is too narcissistic to contemplate his own death?

I can't imagine anyone with any class speaking at his funeral.

9 posted on 06/12/2004 11:20:35 AM PDT by bigeasy_70118
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To: Types_with_Fist
"Sweet" is how I would describe it. Grandfatherly, too.

And I loved his including this little anecdote:

But anyway, he also left me a note, at the top of which said, "Don't let the turkeys get you down."

Well, he certainly never let them get him down.

10 posted on 06/12/2004 11:32:35 AM PDT by cyncooper
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To: Types_with_Fist

Much thanks to you for posting this!

11 posted on 06/12/2004 2:24:04 PM PDT by ConservativeStLouisGuy (11th FReeper Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Unnecessarily Excerpt)
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy


12 posted on 06/12/2004 3:51:53 PM PDT by Types_with_Fist (God Bless Ronald Reagan!)
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