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Saturday, June 12, 2004

Greatness Defined 

As luck would have it I was able to catch most of the services yesterday for President Ronald Reagan. They were dignified, moving and a fitting tribute to such a great man.

So many beautiful and touching memorials have been offered to honor this American Hero, I was hesitant. But then I read Jennifer's thoughts this morning and just had to chime in.

Ronald Reagan was a Great President. He gave this country hope, pride and focus. When he was told No, it can't be done - his answer was Why Not? But he was more than that. He Was A Great Man. He led by example. He was kind, focused, driven, compassionate, honorable, loyal and so much more. He represents the best of humanity. Oh, he wasn't perfect, no one is. But then again, he never claimed to be. He only claimed to be a man.

He was a man who valued the good things in his life. The love shared between Ronald and Nancy Reagan has always inspired me. They drew their strength from each other. That's how it's supposed to be. That type of love is God's gift to us.

I have always believed that the true measure of a life is how you are remembered. As I listened to the stories that have been shared this week I found myself smiling at the evidence of humor, crying over the difficult times and sitting a little taller with pride over what was accomplished. President Reagan is THE example of an American Hero. He lived his life as it should be - at the end of the day you shouldn't have to say I wonder if or I wish I had.

Thank you Sir for the example you showed. Thank you for the gifts you have given to each and every one of us. The gifts of humor, pride and dignity. Thank you for sharing your life and love with us. Thank you for the hope you restored.

My thoughts and prayers now are with the family. I've always been a fan of Nancy Reagan. For reasons too numerous to mention. Her strength and dignity throughout this past decade, and especially this past week, is an inspiration. To hear what Ron, Patty and Michael had to share about their Father reminds me that He was more than Our President. He was more than the leader of a great nation. He was the head of a family. He was a husband and a father. He will be missed. Immensely.

So how do we continue to honor this great man? We cannot just move on now that the services, pomp and circumstance is over. How do we remember? We teach our children. We try to follow his example. Believe in the dignity of man, and show it. Know what you believe in, what's in your heart, and act on it. Gently but firmly. Don't lose your humor. Remember to smile, laugh and share that joy.

We are defined by how we are remembered and what we leave behind. Think about that.

*UPDATE: Blake has a beautiful tribute posted. Go and read.


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