Conservative columnist George Will described her yesterday as a “warrior of words.” Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John R. Bolton cited a Merle Haggard song.
Both men referred to Jeane J. Kirkpatrick.
Hundreds of mourners yesterday attended a memorial service at the Washington National Cathedral in Northwest to remember Mrs. Kirkpatrick, a foreign policy adviser to President Reagan and his U.N. ambassador. She died Dec. 7 in her Bethesda home at age 80. The public memorial service was held by her family.
In a moment of public levity, Mr. Bolton quoted a line from Mr. Haggard’s song “Fightin’ Side of Me” to describe how Mrs. Kirkpatrick’s firm manner as a diplomat sometimes rankled other ambassadors.
“When you’re running down my country, you’re walkin’ on the fightin’ side of me,” he said.
Mr. Bolton then recalled Mrs. Kirkpatrick’s infamous quote: “What takes place in the [U.N.] Security Council more closely resembles a mugging” than a political debate.
“She believed that ideas, more than institutions, shaped the future,” Mr. Bolton said.
Mr. Will called her a “sidekick” of Mr. Reagan in the fight against communism. Mrs. Kirkpatrick said the U.S. should support pro-American authoritarian governments in the battle with totalitarian communism, which became part of the Reagan administration’s philosophy during the Cold War.
Mr. Bolton and Mr. Will recalled personal and public memories of Mrs. Kirkpatrick, from private dinner parties to her famous speech at the 1984 Republican National Convention in which the former Democrat accused “San Francisco Democrats” of a rush to “blame America first.”
Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne, were among the about 600 mourners at the service. Mrs. Cheney is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Service, where Mrs. Kirkpatrick also was a senior fellow.
In a homily, the Rev. Robert Norris, senior pastor of Fourth Presbyterian Church in Bethesda, to which Mrs. Kirkpatrick belonged, spoke of her strong personal faith.
“With her husband, she embraced the life of Christ,” Mr. Norris said. “Jeane could say with the Apostle Paul, ‘Christ lives in me.’ ”