The greatest President of my lifetime: Ronald Reagan, embodied patriotism in words, but more importantly in deeds. He saved the country from the decline of the Carter years and won the decades long Cold War without firing a shot.
Every step along the way he was bitterly opposed by Democrats with the same bile that is now directed at President Bush. But history proved that Reagan was right and that Democrats were WRONG! Too bad the Dems never learn.
So, it's appropriate during this celebration of our nation's independence that we remember what true leadership is all about.
My Favorite Reagan Photo
I took the above on October 12, 1984 when President Reagan took one of the last "Whistlestop" train tours through Ohio. Somehow, the bus tours of today just don't have the same feel as the classic whistlestop using the Ferdinand Magellan, or Car One. Train buffs may find the history of the Ferdinand Magellan here.
The speech (sixth item here) was classic Reagan and it's themes are just as valid today:Four years later I had the privilege of working for President Reagan in the White House Political Office as we set about electing the first President Bush. Description of that experience is found in "Salute to the Gipper."
...[T]he American people are getting the full flavor of the very clear choice that is facing them. It's a choice between two fundamentally different ways of governing and two distinct ways of looking at America.
My opponent, Mr. Mondale, offers a future of pessimism, fear, and limits, compared to ours of hope, confidence, and growth. Now, I know that his intentions are good, and I know that he's sincere in what he believes. But he sees government as an end in itself, and we see government as belonging to you, the people, and only a junior partner in your lives.
My opponent and his allies live in the past. They're celebrating the old and failed policies of an era that has passed them by, as if history had skipped over the 4 Carter-Mondale years. On the other hand, millions of Americans join us in boldly charting a new course for the future.
All this year he's lavished his campaign with promises that staggered even his Democratic opponents. But, of course, there is a predictable answer by one who makes so many promises. The answer is higher taxes, and massive new tax increases are precisely what he proposes.
You know, in our debate I got a little angry at all those times he distorted my record. And on one occasion I was just about to say to him very sternly, ``Mr. Mondale, you're taxing my patience.'' [Laughter] And then I caught myself. Why should I give him another idea? That's the only tax he hasn't thought of. [Laughter]
The "Great Communicator's" gift was his naturally upbeat and humor filled personality. He could even make partisan speeches about Democrats funny. Here are two short examples:
More Patriotic Resources for the 4th:
The classic Lee Greenwood song "Proud to Be An American." MP3
The U.S. Air Force Band Patriotic Favorites
"Pershings Own" The U.S. Army Bands and Chorus
The United States Navy Band
"The President's Own" Marine Corp Band patriotic favorites.
You're invited to download and share mp3's from our military bands with your friends and to use them in blog postings with attribution.
The famous Gordon Sinclair broadcast June 5, 1973 from Toronto Canada: "The Americans."
John Wayne recites the Pledge of Allegiance and talks about patriotism. Like Reagan, John Wayne not only talked about patriotism. He LIVED it!