AFF’s Nikos Leverenz has some thoughts on Ronald Reagan. This is the tenth year since his letter telling us he has Alzheimer’s Disease.
Ronald Reagan remained a highly visible presence in 2003. The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), commissioned in July, rises twenty stories above water and is as long as the Empire State Building is tall. New Reagan books populated the non-fiction shelves during the holiday season, including two more volumes of his correspondence. The Reagans miniseries generated loud protests, extended debates over the Reagan legacy, a bizarre disavowal from CBS President Les Moonves as he banished it to cable television, and several Golden Globe nominations.
Why did The Reagans resonate with so many, even before it debuted? The answer is to be found across the Atlantic in London, England. Visitors to Christopher Wren’s signature work, St. Paul’s Cathedral, are implored by an inscription to “look around” if they seek a monument to the architect. This echoes the funeral oration of Pericles: “the whole earth is the tomb of famous men.” Great men do not require monuments, for their truest legacy is what they have left behind.
There is a fact I didn’t know in there. The USS Ronald Reagan is as long as the Empire State Building is tall. Wow!