Get ready, the big day is just around the corner, which means it is time to say Happy Birthday America!
While the July Fourth holiday sometimes loses meaning in summer picnics and outings, we found an impressive way to observe this very special day.
We found our answer in a beautiful calendar sent to us from the Young America’s Foundation.
It’s the Ronald Reagan Ranch Calendar in which each month is a colorful photo of the former president and “great communicator” and some of his famous remarks.
The foundation works to preserve the Reagan ranch, which was so loved by the president who said, “Rancho del Cielo can make you feel as if you are on a cloud looking down on the world.”
Many of us loved the man because he was as he described himself, “an undying optimist, especially in regards to America’s future.
“I have been described as an undying optimist, always seeing a glass half full when some see it as half empty. And, yes, it’s true — I always see the sunny side of life.”
“My optimism comes not just from my strong faith in God but from my strong and enduring faith in man.”
“They expect us to tell our 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 idea.”
Many agree that President Reagan didn’t so much create a prideful nation but tapped into the optimism, hopes and dreams that he knew America already had.
Some of the other profound things he said include,”We’ve been blessed with the opportunity to stand for something — for liberty and freedom and fairness, and these are the things worth fighting for, worth devoting our lives to.”
He also said, “Those who say we’re in a time when there are no heroes; they just don’t know where to look. No people who ever lived have fought harder, paid a higher price for freedom or done more to advance the dignity of man than Americans.”
And he also said, “Education begins in the home. All great change in America begins at the dinner table.”
Reagan also said, “Each generation goes farther then the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation.”
“We are a nation of freedom under God, believing all citizens must have the opportnunity to grow, create wealth and build a better life for those that follow.”
Always a staunch believer in smaller government, Reagan said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’ The government is not the solution to our problems, the government is the problem.”
Of America’s future, Reagan said, “We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we will always be free. America’s best days are yet to come. Every promise, every opportunity is still golden in this land.”
His faith was reflected in his words, “If we ever forget that we are ‘one nation under God,’ then we will be a nation gone under.”
“The constitution was never meant to prevent people from praying; its declared purpose was to protect the freedom to pray.”
He said, “Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all problems men face, if we’d only look there.”
These words of optimism and faith were taken from the Young America’s Foundation annual calendar as were the photographs which accompany this column.
What better way to celebrate this great nation’s birthday than to remember the quotes of President Reagan and live by them.
Let freedom ring — God Bless America on her birthday and all days.
Mary D. Ferguson is a staff writer and columnist for the Kentucky New Era. Her column runs every Saturday. She can be reached by telephone at 270-887-3230.