Last weekend bi-coastal vandals put my father in some pretty good company. Friday night a group of cowards set fire to a large bronze statue of Ronald Reagan located in the Ronald Reagan Sports Park in Temecula, Calif. The fire also destroyed a wall beside the statue that displayed a quote he made regarding the parks creation.
The same night, thousands of miles away in Washington, D.C., a different group of no less morally deprived individuals toppled an 850-pound monument etched with the Ten Commandments.
The one thing both incidents had in common was cowardice and an inability to understand what both monuments represent. Or as the Bible says, “Why do the heathen rage?”
In 1983 my father made a speech to the U.S. Olympic Committee where he singled out the Temecula sports park as an example of what individuals can do on their own without the suffocating hand of big government.
“The folks in a rather small town, Temecula . . . got together and built themselves a sports park, held fundraising barbecues and dinners. And those that didn’t have money volunteered the time and energy. And now the young people of that community have baseball diamonds for Little League and other sports events, just due to what’s traditional Americanism.”
It was the start of a relationship that continues to this day. The citizens of Temecula named the park after my father and inscribed those words on the wall by the statute they erected of him — paid for by the same method as the rest of the park: hard work, volunteerism, and community spirit.
Today the organizers sponsor field trips to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and coordinate a “can-do” essay contest in elementary schools. BizPac Review interviewed Perry Peters, the sports park president.
“I don’t think this was random vandalism by kids,” Peters said, adding a few months ago the Reagan statue had been pelted with raw eggs as well. “It may have been done by kids, but it was motivated by people who don’t like Reagan and don’t like his message.”
And even more so for the damage done in Washington — Rev. Rob Schenck, the head of the evangelical Christian group Faith and Action told The Washington Times, “We’re confounded, absolutely mystified, how a collection of people could get away with this kind of damage. The Ten Commandments is something that unites people. It’s disappointing to say the least. Heartbreaking — that’s the word I used with my staff.”
Schenck also told the Times that when the massive monument was installed in 2006, “it took an eight-man crew, a truck, and heavy lifting equipment to position the stone.” To say nothing of the sacrifices the Israelites had to endure to bring the Commandments to the rest of the world.
The good people of Temecula intend to replace and repair and continue their good work by relying on their own resources as independent Americans. Faith and Action also intends to remount the Commandments.
And that’s the real story here. Cowards who hide under the cover of darkness simply can’t defeat Americans who are proud of their God and their way of life.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan. He is president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation and Chairman of the League of American Voters. Mike is an in-demand speaker with Premiere. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Click Here Now.