- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 9, 2004

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The following are excerpts of Vice President Dick Cheney’s remarks last night at the state funeral of Ronald Reagan in the Capitol Rotunda:

He said goodbye to us in a letter that showed his great courage and love for America. Yet for his friends and his country, the parting comes only now. …

When you mourn a man of 93, no one is left who remembers him as a child in his mother’s arm. Ronald Wilson Reagan’s life began in a time and a place so different from our own in a quiet town on the prairie on the 6th of February, 1911.

Nelle and Jack Reagan would live long enough to see the kind of man they had raised, but they could never know all that destiny had in store for the boy they called “Dutch.”

And if they could witness this funeral in 2004, their son, taken to his rest with the full honors of the United States, they would be so proud of all he had done with the life they gave him and the things they taught him.

President Reagan once said, “I learned from my father the value of hard work and ambition and maybe a little something about telling a story.” …

“From my mother,” said President Reagan, “I learned the value of prayer.” …

This was the Ronald Reagan who had faith, not just in his own gifts and his own future, but in the possibilities of every life. The cheerful spirit that carried him forward was more than a disposition; it was the optimism of a faithful soul who trusted in God’s purposes and knew those purposes to be right and true. …

If Ronald Reagan ever uttered a cynical or a cruel or a selfish word, the moment went unrecorded. Those who knew him in his youth and those who knew him a lifetime later all remember his largeness of spirit, his gentle instincts and a quiet rectitude that drew others to him. …

For decades, America had waged a Cold War and few believed it could possibly end in our own lifetimes. The president was one of those few. And it was the vision and the will of Ronald Reagan that gave hope to the oppressed, shamed the oppressors and ended an “evil empire.” …

Ronald Reagan was more than a historic figure. He was a providential man who came along just when our nation and the world most needed him. …

When he learned of his illness, his first thoughts were of Nancy.

And who else but Ronald Reagan could face his own decline and death with a final message of hope to his country, telling us that for America, there is always a bright dawn ahead?

Fellow Americans, here lies a graceful and a gallant man.

Nancy, none of us can take away the sadness you are feeling. I hope it is a comfort to know how much he means to us and how much you mean to us as well.

We honor your grace, your own courage and, above all, the great love that you gave to your husband.

When these days of ceremony are completed, the nation returns him to you for the final journey to the West.

And when he is laid to rest under the Pacific sky, we will be thinking of you as we commend to the Almighty the soul of his faithful servant, Ronald Wilson Reagan.

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