Three cheers, hip-hip hurrah. Those who fret that the 103rd birthday of Ronald Reagan on Thursday would come and go without much ado can take heart. There’s big, cheerful doings planned in the tenth year since his passing. We’re talking music by the Camp Pendleton Marine Division Band, a color guard, a brass quintet, a 21-gun salute, an official aircraft flyover, the blessings of a chaplain and the placing of an official White House wreath — all this at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
“President Reagan is one of few presidents where Americans remember the man, the president and the policies as one,” John Heubusch, executive director of the Reagan Presidential Foundation, tells Inside the Beltway.
“The three were so well intertwined they are difficult to separate. He would be modest and say that it was the policies he espoused that meant so much. But, in truth, each was as important as the other,” he adds.
The aforementioned event is public, and it’s free. Brigadier General John W. Bullard, commander of U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, will officiate. Talk radio host and author William Bennett, a former Reagan-era Cabinet member, is keynote speaker. But wait, there’s more.
“In honor of Ronald Reagan’s 103rd birthday, you can now get your very own vintage Reagan/Bush ‘84 campaign T-shirt,” notes the National Republican Congressional Committee, which is now offering the made-in-the-U.S. wearable at its online store (Nrcc.org).
Govs. Nathan Deal of Georgia, Sean Parnell of Alaska and Bill Haslam of Tennessee, meanwhile, have all proclaimed Thursday to be “Ronald Reagan Day” in their states, noting in identical six-point proclamations that the president was “a man of humble background” who advanced public good, bipartisanship, government accountability and a strong defense, among many things. The California State Assembly has approved a similar resolution.
American Conservative Union President Al Cardenas will host the inaugural Ronald Reagan Freedom and Liberty Dinner in Aiea, Hawaii — “aloha attire” encouraged. State chapters of Americans for Prosperity will also mark the day, particularly in Reagan’s home state of Illinois where the design for “Dutch” — a privately funded statue depicting him as a young lifeguard — will be unveiled in Dixon, with a party later in Tampico, his hometown.
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