- The Washington Times - Friday, June 11, 2004


Drawing from Ronald Reagan’s famous vision of America as a “shining city on a hill,” the Rev. John C. Danforth reassured Americans that light will prevail over darkness even in these uncertain times.

Delivering the homily at the late president’s funeral, the former Missouri senator read from the New Testament’s “Sermon on the Mount,” Mr. Reagan’s favorite biblical theme.

The Gospel of Matthew, 5:14-16, reads, “You are the light of the world, a city set on a hill cannot be hid,” a passage that Mr. Reagan often quoted in his speeches to project his view of America as a beacon of freedom and hope in the world.

“If ever we have known a child of light, it was Ronald Reagan,” Mr. Danforth said. “He had no dark side, no scary hidden agenda.”

Seeking to reassure a nation in mourning, Mr. Danforth said people can learn from the late president’s example, even amid the new uncertainties of terrorism and war that Mr. Reagan could not foresee:

“Darkness is real, and it can be terrifying, sometimes it seems to be everywhere…. The question for us is what do we do when darkness surrounds us. Saint Paul answered that question. He said we must walk as children of light.

“President Reagan taught us that this is our mission both as individuals and as a nation,” Mr. Danforth said.

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