Reagan’s inspiration outlives the man himself

We should endeavor to make Reagan’s noble attributes part of our lives.

Ronald Reagan was, is and always will be a great inspiration to me. I grew up watching him as president. My homes have always prominently displayed my best items and pictures, including the official White House photo of Reagan, signed by him.

Reagan was an optimist and a true believer even in the most difficult and worst times in American life. He was a man who could give hope and inspiration to all of us even when it seemed impossible.

He proudly displayed his beliefs in God and an American freedom earned through virtuous morality. He taught that responsibility is greatest upon those who enjoy freedom. We always have a duty to serve our beliefs and convictions. If not, we are throwing away the gift of freedom we have in America.

Integrity in the law and commitment to free-market capitalism are the bedrock of the American way. Reagan worked to restore this, and America owes much to him. His economic programs spurred the growth President Bill Clinton enjoyed and took credit for.

In this time of war I see the impact of Reagan everywhere. Our military is strong and successful because of Reagan’s support. Before he became president, our military was in disarray and crisis. Reagan restored it and helped it grow. Our leaders after him have slipped a bit, but that growth still enables us to carry out our missions today.

I see many parallels between his time as president and the period we are now living in. Regan always saw the virtue of action, and recognized the duty good people have to act. He believed in the righteousness of American values, ideals and pursuits. Reassert these qualities, and we will make today a good day for America.

I’ve seen many tears today in the eyes of big, strong soldiers as we watched the news coverage of Reagan’s death. I’m no stronger myself. I’ve often played Reagan’s speeches out here with my fellow soldiers while on guard duty, and talked of him many times. He is still an inspiration.

Instead of feeling a loss at his death, we should endeavor to make those attributes of Reagan that were a noble part of our lives, and thereby renew our faith in ourselves and our nation. His optimism and true belief in America are what we need today.

Joe Roche is a former Daily columnist and University graduate deployed in Iraq. Please send comments to [email protected]