- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
Reagan statue unveiled at National Airport
Question of the Day
A towering bronze figure of President Ronald Reagan was unveiled Tuesday at the Washington-area airport named in his honor, the last of four statues built around the world in celebration of the late president’s 100th birthday.
The Republican president served two terms, from 1981 to 1989, and his beliefs in strong national security, low taxes and less government became cornerstones for modern conservative politics.
Reagan also championed national transportation safety and helped shift power of Northern Virginia’s two airports from federal to regional control, an effort cheered by the more than 100 transportation officials and well-wishers who attended the dedication at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, across the Potomac River from the nation’s capital.
“It’s a privilege to be able to unveil a statue of Ronald Reagan,” said Elizabeth Dole, transportation secretary under Reagan. “He was a man who blessed this endeavor, sponsored the legislation and cheered on the effort many years ago.”
The 9-foot-tall statue captures the tailor-suited president in midstep as he welcomes travelers to the original airport terminal. The airport was renamed in his honor in 1998.
Behind the statue stands a low, 38-foot-long curved wall with Reagan’s name etched into the stainless-steel surface, along with the cutout image of a bald eagle.
“He was a great inspiration to my generation,” said Falls Church resident Michael Santorelli, a baby boomer who attended the dedication with commemorative buttons modeled after Reagan-era campaign ads. “He helped out a lot of industries.”
Despite the fanfare and praise from such dignitaries as former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, the history between Reagan and the aviation industry wasn’t without its bumps.
In 1981, Reagan fired thousands of union air-traffic controllers after they walked off the job and violated a federal no-strike rule.
Nearly 17 years later, Reagan drew renewed ire from critics who said it was inappropriate to rename the airport for the man responsible for thousands of lost jobs.
Mrs. Dole credited the former president’s push for low-level lighting on planes, smoke detectors in cabin bathrooms and less flammable seat cushions as proof of his interest in flight safety.
She also estimated 360,000 lives were saved, because of laws passed in the Reagan era mandating passenger safety belts and airbags and the drinking age being raised to 21.
The $900,000 statue is the last of four privately funded centennial statues endorsed by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.
It was carved by North Carolina-based sculptor Chas Fagan, who also carved the Reagan statues at the U.S. Capitol, London’s Grosvenor Square and the statue at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Meredith Somers is a Metro reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Higher Ground: 'Christian' Grey
- Priest abuse survivors group marks milestone
- Teen girl exorcised by priest, sends demonic text messages in response
- Obama nominates Rabbi David Saperstein as ambassador for religious freedom
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Isaac Orr
New carbon-dioxide rules would put America in the dark
- House GOP resurrects border bill, predicts successful Friday vote
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- ON THE RUN: Competition for Redskins backup running back is heating up
- Ted Nugent slams 'lying freaks' at liberal media: I'm 'doing God's work'
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors