As we celebrate the 101st birthday of President Ronald Reagan, we remember the profound impact he had on government policy, but more importantly on the spirit of the American people. Whether it was through humor, sincerity, or passion, President Reagan had that rare ability to inspire individuals to strive for their greatest potential and positively impact the country. Here are 10 of his most memorable quotations:
Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong.
Don’t be afraid to see what you see.
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.
I know in my heart that man is good. That what is right will always eventually triumph. And there’s purpose and worth to each and every life.
Let us be sure that those who come after will say of us in our time, that in our time we did everything that could be done. We finished the race; we kept them free; we kept the faith.
No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth!
There are no easy answers’ but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.
We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today’s world do not have.
Without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure.
Although his presidency ended in 1989, President Reagan’s legacy continues to live on and is equally relevant to our world today.
For more quotes from President Reagan — and other American thinkers and leaders — visit The Heritage Foundation’s “We Still Hold These Truths” Quotes Database.
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Ryan McNulty is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm