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Quotes from Reagan on America, Freedom, and War

Written By : John Hawkins
April 15, 2012

George W. Bush may be the son of America’s 41st president, but since the 11th he’s sounded like the ideological son of Ronald Reagan. Here are 21 quotes from the Gipper on America, freedom, and war. For those of you who were still kids when Reagan finished his term, these quotes will give you an idea about why conservatives hold Reagan in such high esteem.

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Today we did what we had to do. They counted on America to be passive. They counted wrong — Ronald Reagan

You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done — Ronald Reagan

History teaches that war begins when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap. — Ronald Reagan

The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or the next. It was the deep knowledge — and pray to God we have not lost it — that there is a profound moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest — Ronald Reagan

Putting people first has always been America’s secret weapon. It’s the way we’ve kept the spirit of our revolutions alive’a spirit that drives us to dream and dare, and take great risks for a greater good — Ronald Reagan

Regimes planted by bayonets do not take root — Ronald Reagan

America is too great for small dreams — Ronald Reagan

I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still. — Ronald Reagan

And how stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure, and happier than it was 8 years ago. But more than that: After 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she’s still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.” — Ronald Reagan

Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong — Ronald Reagan

We are especially not going to tolerate these attacks from outlaw states run by the strangest collection of misfits, Looney Tunes and squalid criminals since the advent of the Third Reich — Ronald Reagan

We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free — Ronald Reagan

They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right. Winston Churchill said that “the destiny of man is not measured by material computation. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we are spirits — not animals.” And he said, “There is something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty — Ronald Reagan

The ultimate determinate in the struggle now going on for the world will not be bombs and rockets but a test of wills and ideas – a trial of spiritual resolve; the values we hold, the beliefs we cherish and the ideas to which we are dedicated — Ronald Reagan

A leader, once convinced a particular course of action is the right one, must have the determination to stick with it and be undaunted when the going gets rough — Ronald Reagan

I have seen the rise and fall of Nazi tyranny, the subsequent cold war and the nuclear nightmare that for fifty years haunted the dreams of children everywhere. During that time my generation defeated totalitarianism. As a result, your world is poised for better tomorrows. What will you do on your journey? — Ronald Reagan

[N]o arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women — Ronald Reagan

The Democrats say that the United States has had its days in the sun, that our nation has passed its zenith. They expect you to tell your children that the American people no longer have the will to cope with their problems, that the future will be one of sacrifice and few opportunities. My fellow citizens, I utterly reject that view. — Ronald Reagan

I hope that when you’re my age you’ll be able to say, as I have been able to say: we lived in freedom, we lived lives that were a statement, not an apology — Ronald Reagan

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free — Ronald Reagan

In closing, let me thank you, the American people, for giving me the great honor of allowing me to serve as your president. When the Lord calls me home, whenever that day may be, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future. I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead. — Ronald Reagan

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