Saturday, June 12, 2004

Celebration of Life

I wasn't able to watch the National Cathedral services yesterday as it was a work day for me. I planned to listen on the radio, but work kept interfering. Go figure! I had thought about watching the evening service on C-SPAN, but decided that I wanted the commentary on FOX.

I turned the TV on about 730p (Eastern time) and watched as the plane bringing Mr. Reagan back to California for the last time began it's descent. I watched as his body was lowered from the plane and carried to the hearse. I was amazed, though I don't know why I should have been, as crowds gathered to pay their last respects as the hearse traveled to the Reagan Library. People stopped their cars on the opposite side of the freeway to watch the motorcade take Mr. Reagan on his final trip to his resting place.

While waiting for the hearse and the Reagan contingent to arrive, FOX showed scenes at the Library as guests entered. I heard the band playing hymns that took me back to my childhood and I sang along with those hymns. It's interesting how calming those hymns always are to me. I'm ashamed to admit that I had forgotten too many of the words, but I remembered the melodies and the words slowly came back. The guests showed the respect that any deceased person deserved, and I didn't expect any less of them.

I enjoyed hearing the Reagan children, Michael, Patti, and Ron talk about their father. It was obvious to me, that although there were rifts in their family relationships, that they all loved their father very much. I'm very glad that they will have fond memories which will keep him alive in their hearts.

The only disturbing moment was one I expected, but still distressed me. It was when Mrs. Reagan went to the coffin for her last goodbye and began to cry. I wanted this to be a private moment. I don't think her grief needed to be shown to the rest of the world. The moment was saved, for me, when her children gathered around her, to give her their love and support. There was nothing they could do to alleviate the grief and loss she felt, but they were there for her.

I saw the entire ceremony as a celebration of his life, not a mourning of his death. I believe that Mr. Reagan would have wanted it that way.
Oh, Joy!

I am so excited! I actually had two comments on one of my posts! And they were bloggers I've been reading and admire. I know I'm gushing, but this is just so exciting to me!

Thank you Kris and Sissy for making my day!

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Good Over Evil

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing -Edmund Burke

I don't think I can expound much on what Edmund Burke said, but that doesn't mean I won't try.

It puts me in mind of Reagan and Bush. Both saw evil and refused to ignore it. Both had a clear vision of what needed to be done and the moral courage and integrity to do it. I might not agree with everything they stood for, but I can't argue the results.

I want my country to have leaders who have that moral courage and integrity to do what's right. Right isn't always popular, but it's still right.

It's Started and It's Just Wrong.

What you say, has started? I'll be happy to tell you. The Reagan back-biting, the bad-mouthing, the hateful things people say about people they don't like. Mr. Reagan isn't in his grave yet and it's started. Mean-spirited, little, small-minded people with little or no character act like this.

I don't care if you don't like someone, what they did, or what they stood for. Just have the common decency to wait until after the funeral. Say what you want in private, not in public, not in the newspapers, in front of a camera, or on the Internet. My mother used to say, "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." It still applies. Times have changed, but they haven't changed that much.

In America, we have the right of Freedom of Speech. We can say pretty much anything we like, when we like, but there is a time and a place to say it. When you say something tells as much about you as what you say, sometimes more.

The State Funeral

I imagine that I, like most Americans, and most of the world, watched the State Funeral for President Reagan last evening. I remember Kennedy's funeral, but for some reason don't remember Eisenhower or Johnson's. I know I had to have watched them.

I found myself breaking down in tears. I'm not sure what brought it on. Maybe it was memories of my own parents funerals. I didn't know Mr. Reagan, except as a President. I didn't have much feeling one way or the other for him at the time. I'm sorry to say I was too wrapped up in my own little world to understand just what he was doing and what he stood for.

I was bowled over by the pageantry and ceremony. Everything done had meaning. The riderless horse with the boots (Reagan's own) turned back, the caisson, the music played by the marching military bands. I was impressed that everything was done on time and so precisely.

I was most impressed by the crowds of people who wanted to pay their last respects. They willingly waited in line for hours for the seconds it took file past the casket, or to see the casket as it was carried from Andrews to the Capitol building. The people on the earlier part of the trip from Andrews were able to catch only a glimpse of the casket in the hearse. The people on the other end could see the casket better as it was carried on the caisson. That's if they could see of the heads of the five and six people deep crowds.

But what really got me was the quiet respect. They only time I heard voices was when Mrs Reagan appeared. There was a scattering of applause and people called out to her saying, "We love you, Nancy" and "God Bless you." She acknowledged all this with a slight, sad smile and a wave. I noticed as she rode in the limo behind the caisson that she would wave to the crowds. I thought it showed just what a classy lady she is.

I was a little disturbed to see at the end of the service that Mrs. Reagan went to the casket alone to say goodbye. It seemed to exclude her family. But then, there was such a bond between the two of them, it was not unexpected. It just seemed to be a time when she would want her family with her, but then, that's just my opinion and not meant to criticize in any way.

God Bless You, Mrs. Reagan

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Slow Blogging

I have a lot to say, but not much computer time right now. So, I'm saving it all up for the weekend.


Sunday, June 06, 2004

Goodbye Mr. President

As you no doubt know by now, Ronald Wilson Reagan has gone to his reward. I surfed through various cable news channels to get a feel of his presidency last evening. I learned things I didn't know, and remembered things I knew. I won't go into those things, it's not necessary. We'll be hearing all this and more over the next few days.
As I said in a previous post, I underestimated the man. I regret that now.

I am glad that he is past any pain and suffering he might have had. I know that he's in a far better place. His friends and family will mourn his passing, as will the rest of the world. I know from experience the pain will lessen, although you never get over the loss. I pray that God grant his family and friends peace and comfort.

Ronald Wilson Reagan

President, Governor, Actor, Husband, Father, Friend, and Proud American