Reagan’s life merits credit over any mistakes

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 6, 2004

Love him or hate him, almost everyone who’s at least familiar with the late Ronald Reagan will have to admit he made an impact.

America’s 40th president, Ronald Reagan, 93, died Saturday after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease; his family was reportedly by his side at the time of his death.

What we think is worth remembering about Reagan was his optimism, especially in the face of a bitterly cynic-minded attitude about the future. His gift as a charismatic speaker and, yes, an actor, served him well during his eight years of service as the nation’s leader. He was not nicknamed the &uot;Great Communicator&uot; for nothing. Certainly the world’s other leaders will be among those reflecting on his presence.

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His physical and moral strength stood him in good stead, especially when a would-be assassin attempted to end Reagan’s life.

Sadly, a few years after he left office, he announced that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, which ultimately ruins the brain and robs the victim of memories and physical abilities. It’s a testament to his wife, Nancy, and other family members who stood by and took care of him as they best they could in his declining years.

In the days to come, we should remember what he contributed to making America a great place.