By Gary P Jackson
Catching up on some Independence Day news. We reported earlier that a statue of Ronald Reagan was erected in Budapest, to celebrate the fall of communism. Over the 4th, Great Britain also honored one of our nation's greatest leaders:
As Fourth of July celebrations get under way across the United States, London will hold its own tribute to America's 40th President, Ronald Reagan, with the unveiling of a bronze statue outside the American embassy in Grosvenor Square.
Former president Reagan will stand alongside other celebrated US heads of state such as Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower and was considered important enough for Westminster City Council to break its rule specifying that ten years must pass after a subject's death before they can be immortalized in statue form.
Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be in London for the unveiling of the memorial, along with British Foreign Secretary William Hague. Baroness Thatcher, Reagan's closest foreign ally and one half of the 'Special Relationship' which came to epitomize the 1980s and contribute to the demise of the Cold War will probably be too frail to attend the ceremony celebrating the man she referred to as "the second most important man in my life."
The $1 million statue is the latest in a number that have been unveiled across the world, celebrating 100 years since Reagan's birth and in recognition of his contribution to the fall of Communism in Europe. Indeed a quote attributed to Lady Thatcher that "Ronald Reagan won the Cold War without firing a shot" will be etched on the statue's plinth which will be displayed with a portion of the Berlin Wall.
Former special assistant to Ronald Reagan Mary Jo Jacobi told CNBC.com ahead of attending that ceremony that Reagan would have reacted to the tribute with humility.
"I think he would be moved and a bit perhaps surprised by it all because he was a very humble man. I do think that there was a very special place in his heart for Margaret Thatcher and for the United Kingdom, our closest ally in his view, so I think he would be particularly thrilled to have this statue here in London," she told CNBC.com
Jacobi, who has met every US president since Lyndon Johnson, said Reagan stands apart from subsequent presidents as he was able to articulate and execute a clear vision for the United States.
"He connected with the common person in the United States and in many parts of the world, and I think that that's a rare gift, we haven't seen it since. Bill Clinton was very good at empathy, President Obama was very good at articulating a vague notion of hope and change, but not a clear vision of what that hope and change would look like or feel like and that was the difference with Ronald Reagan," she explained.
Read more here.
It's wonderful to see all of these tributes to Ronald Reagan as we celebrate his 100th birthday this year. Reagan was truly one of this nation's greatest presidents, and thankfully was appreciated by the American people while he was still in office, something few presidents ever see. His leadership has inspired untold numbers of men and women to join the fight.
God bless Ronald Reagan, and God bless America.