The importance of freedom

I won't have much time for blogging until tomorrow (like my blogfather, I have had some social obligations), but I can't let the 60th anniversary of D-Day pass without at least mentioning this excellent collection of links. (Via InstaPundit.)

People forget the sacrifices which were made.

Jeff also has a very thoughtful and articulate post about Ronald Reagan, whose passing, very appropriately, marks the commemoration of D-Day.

Jeff notes the appalling fact that certain people on the left take advantage of this sad occasion to bash Ronald Reagan. Unfortunately, it's quite understandable that they hate him so bitterly, for the man's greatest contribution to history -- and humanity -- was ending the Cold War, and putting the final coffin nails in Communism, the greatest system of mass murder in modern times. For that alone, he'll be remembered as one of the greatest American presidents in history. (And, of course, hated by the hard left.)

Jeff's words are worth repeating:

Folks, I have no idea where my own "spiritual feelings" are. And I was rather young at the time President Reagan was in office and frankly, I wasn't paying much attention.

But here is what I believe: Ronald Reagan was a decent man who held some principles dear to his heart. He led our country accordingly. I don't agree with all of those principles but I never for a second believe that President Reagan made decisions based on political expediency; he "stuck to his guns" on his principles. He was (thanks to his Hollywood training) a brilliant speaker but I -- maybe naively -- felt that HE believed in what he said and the policies he implemented. I feel the same way about GW. I disagree with much of it, but I will never accuse him -- unlike Kerry -- of shaping his ideals to fly in the prevailing winds.

I rarely speak of my family or work here. That's intentional. But I do come from a very liberal based family. I don't think they approve of my current politics.

I used to be a "liberal." I grew up. I won't go into all of that now. Let's just remember Ronald Reagan as a decent man who really wanted to make America the best it could possibly be. He absolutely believed in democracy and in America. It was contagious. It was real. It was wonderful and optimistic.

Wish I had more time, but I want to thank Jeff for speaking from the heart, and saying what I wish I had time to say, but couldn't have said as well even if I had the time.

Rest in peace, Ronald Reagan, along with the others of your generation who are now being remembered as heroes for freedom.

And finally, here's Ronald Reagan, on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day -- with words worth remembering today:

We in America have learned bitter lessons from two World Wars: It is better to be here ready to protect the peace than to take blind shelter across the sea, rushing to respond only after freedom is lost. We've learned that isolationism never was and never will be an acceptable response to tyrannical governments with an expansionist intent.

But we try always to be prepared for peace; prepared to deter aggression; prepared to negotiate the reduction of arms; and, yes, prepared to reach out again in the spirit of reconciliation.

We are bound today by what bound us 40 years ago, the same loyalties, traditions, and beliefs. We're bound by reality. The strength of America's allies is vital to the United States, and the American security guarantee is essential to the continued freedom of Europe's democracies. We were with you then; we are with you now. Your hopes are our hopes, and your destiny is our destiny.

Here, in this place where the West held together, let us make a vow to our dead. Let us show them by our actions that we understand what they died for. Let our actions say to them the words for which Matthew Ridgway listened: "I will not fail thee nor forsake thee."

Strengthened by their courage, heartened by their [valor], and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died.

Thank you very much, and God bless you all.

posted by Eric on 06.06.04 at 10:41 PM


"You and I are told increasingly that we have to choose between a left and a right. There is only an up or down: up to man's age-old dream -- the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order -- or down to the ant-heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course."
-Ronald Reagan, Republican National Convention, 1964

We stand here on the only island of freedom that is left in the whole world. There is no place to flee place to escape to. We defend freedom here or it is gone. There is no place for us to run, only to make a stand. And if we fail, I think we face telling our children, and our children's children, what it was we found more precious than freedom. Because I am sure someday -- if we fail in this -- there will be a generation that will ask."
-Ronald Reagan, Governor of California

"General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"
-Ronald Reagan, President of the United States

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