I remember arguing with my Auntie Lou, when I was all of eleven, that President Reagan made me proud to be an American and that her guy, Jimmy Carter, embarrassed me. True, it's just an emotional standard by which to judge them, but I was not alone in feeling what many millions of other Americans felt, too: Ronald Reagan was a true leader who had the personal power to instill confidence in the people ---something he may very well have learned from his own favorite President, Franklin Roosevelt.
Ronald Reagan was the most important President of my lifetime. He is the one man, more than any other, who essentially discredited and destroyed Communism. And, for that, he belongs in the pantheon of History's greatest leaders.
I have just now heard that he will lie in state in the Rotunda of the Capitol on Tuesday.
I thank you for your optimism, Mr. President, and for all of your best qualities as a leader of the free world.
Christ rest your soul.