|Reagan: 'I've come to honor my father'|
Wednesday, September 1, 2004 Posted: 10:45 PM EDT (0245 GMT)
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Michael Reagan introduced a video tribute to his late father, former President Ronald Reagan, to the Republican National Convention.
This is a transcript of his remarks.
I knew if I waited long enough, the Republican Party would rock, and it's rocking tonight. It's good to be here.
My fellow Republicans, good evening to you, each and every one of you. I am truly the luckiest man in the world. I am lucky for so many, many reasons.
First of all, I'm lucky because my mother, my father, my birth-mother and my birth-father all had something in common. You know what it was? They were all pro-life.
And they were pro-adoption.
Because they were, I stand before you tonight as Michael Edward Reagan.
I've come tonight to honor my father, not to politicize his name.
I'm here to introduce a video tribute to my father, Ronald Reagan, who was not just a great leader, but also a great dad.
But first of all, on behalf of the Reagan family, I'd like to take a moment to thank everyone here and everyone at home across America for all you did during the week that we laid my father to rest.
It was your faith, it was your love, it was your support that truly sustained each member of our family. So many of you stood in all-night vigils, stopped your cars and trucks, waved your flags or just placed your hands on your heart as our cars drove by.
One gentleman, by the name of Jorge Ponce-Rodriguez, left his passport with a message to our family there at the library in Simi Valley. He said, because of President Reagan, "my family and I were able to achieve the American dream. God bless Ronald Reagan."
Why did my father -- why did he evoke such an incredible gratitude and goodwill?
Was it his personality? His sunny optimism? His humor? That twinkle in his eye?
Was it the fact that he was a great communicator? Or was it all of that and something more?
Ronald Reagan, you see, did not break the back of Soviet tyranny and then ignite the most powerful economy in our history with just funny stories and beautiful words. He wasn't just a great communicator. You see, my father communicated great ideas. Where did these ideas come from?
Where did they come from? They came from his beliefs. He believed, as Thomas Jefferson said -- and remember Thomas and my dad played together as children -- that God who gave us life, and he did give us life, also gave us liberty at the same time. My father believed that God had a plan for his life and for every life and for the life of our nation.
He believed America was placed between the oceans to be a beacon of freedom for the whole world, the place where man was not beholden to government, but in fact government was beholden to man.
And because of him, we are that "Shining City on a Hill," and we shine a little bit brighter tonight.
He believed the founders' limitations on government helped create the freest, most prosperous nation ever known. Finally, he believed freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. With the blessings of liberty, we have responsibilities to defend it.
Today, the USS Ronald Reagan sits in a berth in San Diego, California, with 5,000 men and women for just that purpose.
Throughout his life, his belief in you and me and the American people never ever wavered.
And finally, in his farewell letter, he wrote: "As 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."
With pride, ladies and gentleman, I present to you a video tribute of the 40th president of the United States, my dad, Ronald Wilson Reagan.