This country has seen some great men at the helm. George Washington was great regardless of the mythical tales of his feats. Abraham Lincoln led this country through its most crucial battle, and came out victorious, Franklin Delano Roosevelt led this nation out of the Great Depression.
We have seen wars, natural disaters, internal strife, and we have always found one man to lead us through the hard times. One man, in my mind, stands above them all.
Ronald Wilson Reagan ended the Cold War without a shot. I was born in 1975. I was six years old when President Reagan first took the oath of office. Growing up I didn't have a grandfather, but I felt that sort of admiration for President Reagan. During his administration you never had to worry about sex scandals or selling nights in the Lincoln Bedroom for campaign contributions.
Ronald Reagan was the every man. He grew up poor with an alcoholic father. He had to grow up quickly to help take care of his family, as his father would often stumble. He would have to bring his father in from being passed out on the steps on more than one occasion, and would have to be there to comfort his mother in times of turmoil.
He rose above his humble beginings and was able to attend college. He excelled in sports and in theater. He played college football and went on to be a well respected actor. As an actor he rose to lead the screen actors guild. President Reagan seemed to rise to leadership positions everywhere he went.
As President he led the country out of the longest and most terrifying standoffs in our history and led the country to untold prosperity. He led his country with the dignity and grace that this nation may never see again. He was charming, witty and intelligent. He acted with courage, but also with compassion. His moves were calculated and never made in haste. He was loved by even his critics, and adored by millions.
He left us in 2004. He is a man I have never met, but had an undeniable impact on my life. May God Bless our greatest son, and may he rest in peace.