Thursday, November 28, 2013

Touching the face of God with the help of Peggy and Ron

Oh so many reasons.  My admiration for Ronald Reagan has many folds.

Using his angry grandfather voice telling Gorby, "Tear Down This Wall!".  While he is standing at
the greatest icon of all that is wrong with communism.  Moxie by Morals. Spiritual Conviction.   He knew what was right and what was wrong.

The air traffic controllers and their union.  Yes, it is nice you want to strike, but that holds up an
entire nation from getting work done.  So get your asses back to work and negotiate while you work
or don't let the door hit your ass.  They called his bluff and without hesitation and true to his word that door hit their asses.  I don't know if his decision was right, but he was true to his word.

What I remember the most is the space shuttle Challenger disaster.  I was 13 years old at school.  This was still when the program was young and captured the fascination of youth.  Every launch
was played live in our school library and the students where all brought down to watch.  A few
of our teachers where in the contest to be the first teacher in space so we were all very active in following NASA.

And that night, still numb from what I had witnessed and not having answers to what happened,
President Reagan takes over the television.  To me he was like the grandfather I never had, as mine passed away years before.  And he made my world right with simply saying, "We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for the journey and waved goodbye and 'slipped the surly bonds of earth' to 'touch the face of God.'"

I had never heard such perfect words to my ears.  He was the first wordsmith in my life.  He was
A Christmas Story come to life.  Such beauty.  I would only find out later that his words came from
John Magee, an American flying in World War II with the RCAF.

"High Flight"

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air....

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.
Where never lark, or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
- Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

Peggy Noonan was one of if not Reagan's main speech writers.  She also wrote for George Bush.  She is the wordsmith that made a young boy feel better that night.  They say there is a women behind every great man.  President Reagan had the benefit of two great women his wife Nancy and his speechwriter Peggy.  Take the time to read Peggy Noonan's books.  Her writings are amazing.

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