Tags: Reagans | Receive | Congressional | Gold | Medal

Reagans Receive Congressional Gold Medal

Thursday, 16 May 2002 12:00 AM

Mrs. Reagan was on hand to receive the medal, considered the highest civilian honor. Reagan, suffering from Alzheimer's disease, was not able to attend.

"President Reagan believed deeply in American character and destiny. He believed deeply in the power of freedom to improve the lives of average men and women," President Bush said at a ceremony at the Capitol. "These ideas changed America and they changed the world, not only because he eloquently explained them, because they were right."

The ceremony took place in the same place the Reagans stood after his 1981 inaugural when they learned that the American hostages were free from Iran and were headed home, Mrs. Reagan said.

"This is, very obviously, a very special occasion for me, and very memorable," she said. "I want to thank you, all of you, for all your expressions and what you've said."

Bush said: "Ronald Reagan is one of the largest figures of our time. His name will always stand for courage and consistency, for patriotism and resolve, and for humor and optimism."

Reagan is "a man of great talent and great character. His entire career is a tribute to the power of great ideas," he said.

Bill Clinton signed the medal resolution for the Reagans in July 2000. It praised the president for his leadership in restoring optimism to the nation and ending the Cold War. Mrs. Reagan was recognized for her efforts to curb alcohol and drug abuse among the nation's youth.

The only other presidential couple to receive the Congressional Gold Medal were Gerald and Betty Ford in 1998.

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Mrs. Reagan was on hand to receive the medal, considered the highest civilian honor. Reagan, suffering from Alzheimer's disease, was not able to attend. President Reagan believed deeply in American character and destiny. He believed deeply in the power of freedom to...
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2002-00-16
Thursday, 16 May 2002 12:00 AM
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