Remarks of Ron Reagan, Jr. in Eulogy for President Ronald Reagan


President George H. W. Bush in eulogy for President Ronald W. Reagan at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

President George W. Bush in eulogy for President Ronald W. Reagan at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

Baroness Thatcher in eulogy for President Ronald W. Reagan at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in eulogy for President Ronald W. Reagan at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

Homily of Episcopal minister John Danforth at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

Michael Reagan in eulogy for President Ronald W. Reagan at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

Ron Reagan, Jr. in eulogy for President Ronald W. Reagan at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

Patti Davis in eulogy for President Ronald W. Reagan at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

Tributes from around the world

The passing of President Ronald Reagan is a sad moment in history, but he now belongs to the ages. During his presidency there was morning in America, and at his passing America is in mourning. But the future belongs to the people who President Reagan helped make free, and we will always remember what he did for the world, so that we may always be free.


His work here is done, and now a shining city awaits him. God Bless Ronald Reagan.

—President George W. Bush.

President Ronald Reagan will be remembered in the hearts of all Latvians as a fighter for freedom, liberty and justice worldwide.

—Latvian Pesident Vaira Vike-Freiberga.

Ronald Reagan had a higher claim than any other leader to have won the Cold War for liberty and he did it without a shot being fired.

—former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

This week America lost a cherished son and the world lost a great leader. A man of strong moral character and great humility, his leadership made the world a better place. Ronald Wilson Reagan epitomized what America stands for—freedom, democracy, and national pride….

—President George H. W. Bush.

Ronald Reagan was a great communicator not because he said things in an unusual way but because he said great things—things that were true and needed saying…. Reagan said our government was too big and was taking our freedoms. He said taxes were too high and were taking hard-won security from our citizens. The people listened, judged him to be correct, and elected him president in two landslides—one against an incumbent president running for reelection.

—Peggy Noonan, author and former speechwriter for President Reagan.

Reagan bolstered the U.S. military might to ruin the Soviet economy, and he achieved his goal.

Ronald Reagan was a great communicator not because he said things in an unusual way but because he said great things—things that were true and needed saying. When he saw injustice, he wanted to do away with it. He saw communism, and he wanted to put an end to it.


—Lech Walesa, Solidarity leader in the 1980s and former President of Poland in post-communist Poland.

His engagement in overcoming the East-West conflict and his vision of a free and united Europe created the conditions for change that in the end made the restoration of German unity possible. Germany will always have an honored memory of President Reagan because of that.

—German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

He was a great president who guided the Cold War toward a victory for freedom against communism.

—Yasuhiro Nakasone, former Prime Minister of Japan.

He was an absolutely marvelous human being and a great and historic leader who will be remembered very favorably.

—former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.

President Reagan fueled the spirit of America. I was privileged to serve as his national security adviser, and I was proud to be a soldier during his presidency as he restored the morale and fighting prowess of our armed forces.

—Secretary of State and President Reagan’s National Security Advisor Colin Powell.

Betty and I are deeply saddened by the passing of our longtime friend, President Reagan. Ronald Reagan was an excellent leader of our nation during challenging times at home and abroad. We extend our deepest condolences and prayers to Nancy and his family.

—President Gerald Ford.


I think he is one of the two greatest presidents of the 20th century, along with Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He shaped both America and the world, and they are different places than they would have been without Ronald Reagan.

—former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

I did not just admire him, I was fortunate enough to know him. He was a hero to me.

—fellow California Governor and fellow actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Reagan was a statesman who, despite all disagreements that existed between our countries at the time, displayed foresight and determination to meet our proposals halfway and change our relations for the better, stop the nuclear race, start scrapping nuclear weapons, and arrange normal relations between our countries.

—former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

See what freedom loving people around the world have to say.

Omaha Beach, Normandy

President Ronald Reagan, June 6, 1984. Normandy, France.

Address at the U.S.-French Ceremony at Omaha Beach, Normandy on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day.

We stand today at a place of battle, one that 40 years ago saw and felt the worst of war. Men bled and died here for a few feet of – or inches of sand, as bullets and shellfire cut through their ranks. About them, General Omar Bradley later said, “Every man who set foot on Omaha Beach that day was a hero.”

Some who survived the battle of June 6, 1944, are here today. Others who hoped to return never did.

“Someday, Lis, I’ll go back,” said Private First Class Peter Robert Zannata, of the 37th Engineer Combat Battalion, and first assault wave to hit Omaha Beach. “I’ll go back, and I’ll see it all again. I’ll see the beach, the barricades, and the graves.”

Those words of Private Zanatta come to us from his daughter, Lisa Zanatta Henn, in a heart-rending story about the event her father spoke of so often. “In his words, the Normandy invasion would change his life forever,” she said. She tells some of his stories of World War II but says of her father, “the story to end all stories was D-Day.”

“He made me feel the fear of being on the boat waiting to land. I can smell the ocean and feel the sea sickness. I can see the looks on his fellow soldiers’ faces-the fear, the anguish, the uncertainty of what lay ahead. And when they landed, I can feel the strength and courage of the men who took those first steps through the tide to what must have surely looked like instant death.”

Private Zannata’s daughter wrote to me, “I don’t know how or why I can feel this emptiness, this fear, or this determination, but I do. Maybe it’s the bond I had with my father. All I know is that it brings tears to my eyes to think about my father as a 20-year old boy having to face that beach.”

The anniversary of D-Day was always special to her family. And like all the families of those who went to war, she describes how she came to realize her own father’s survival was a miracle: “So many men died. I know that my father watched many of his friends be killed. I know that he must have died inside a little each time. But his explanation to me was, `You did what you had to do, and you kept on going.”

When men like Private Zannata and all our Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy 40 years ago they came not as conquerors, but as liberators. When these troops swept across the French countryside and into the forests of Belgium and Luxembourg they came not to take, but to return what had been wrongfully seized. When our forces marched into Germany they came not to prey on a brave and defeated people, but to nurture the seeds of democracy among those who yearned to bee free again.

We salute them today. But, Mr. President [Francois Mitterand of France], we also salute those who, like yourself, were already engaging the enemy inside your beloved country-the French Resistance. Your valiant struggle for France did so much to cripple the enemy and spur the advance of the armies of liberation. The French Forces of the Interior will forever personify courage and national spirit. They will be a timeless inspiration to all who are free and to all who would be free.

Today, in their memory, and for all who fought here, we celebrate the triumph of democracy. We reaffirm the unity of democratic people who fought a war and then joined with the vanquished in a firm resolve to keep the peace.

From a terrible war we learned that unity made us invincible; now, in peace, that same unity makes us secure. We sought to bring all freedom-loving nations together in a community dedicated to the defense and preservation of our sacred values. Our alliance, forged in the crucible of war, tempered and shaped by the realities of the post-war world, has succeeded. In Europe, the threat has been contained, the peace has been kept.

Today, the living here assembled-officials, veterans, citizens-are a tribute to what was achieved here 40 years ago. This land is secure. We are free. These things are worth fighting and dying for.

Lisa Zannata Henn began her story by quoting her father, who promised that he would return to Normandy. She ended with a promise to her father, who died 8 years ago of cancer: “I’m going there, Dad, and I’ll see the beaches and the barricades and the monuments. I’ll see the graves, and I’ll put flowers there just like you wanted to do. I’ll never forget what you went through, Dad, nor will I let any one else forget. And, Dad, I’ll always be proud.”

Through the words of his loving daughter, who is here with us today, a D-Day veteran has shown us the meaning of this day far better than any President can. It is enough to say about Private Zannata and all the men of honor and courage who fought beside him four decades ago: We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free.

Thank you.