During an eloquent and poignant funeral service earlier today in London’s St. Paul’s cathedral, the world said its final goodbye to one of the most inspirational leaders of the 20th century.
In the United States, Margaret Thatcher will always be remembered for her close friendship with President Ronald Reagan. She was also a firm believer in the U.S.–UK Special Relationship. Indeed, she loved America and everything it stands for.
Lady Thatcher was a true friend of our country. As Senator Mitch McConnell (R–KY) pointed out in his excellent resolution “honoring the life, legacy and example” of Lady Thatcher, she was always there for the United States.
She repeatedly backed the U.S. when others in Europe would not. For example, she allowed the U.S. to base nuclear cruise missiles at British bases and backed U.S. deployment of short-range nuclear missiles in Europe when there was stiff opposition to do so.
She also allowed U.S. F-111s to fly from British territory to attack sites in Muammar Qadhafi’s Libya when no other European country would after the Berlin nightclub bombing.
When the chips were down she was there for America. This country should never forget that.
When she teamed up with Reagan, they were unstoppable—a powerful force for good in the world. Together Lady Thatcher and Reagan brought an end to the Soviet Union and lifted the yoke of tyranny from Eastern Europe. She understood the important role of Western values and beliefs in the face of communist authoritarianism. Like Reagan, she believed in peace through strength.
In the end, the values, ideas, and vision that Reagan and Lady Thatcher shared turned out to be more powerful than any military force NATO would ever need to use. The ideas of democracy, human rights, free markets, and strong defense—values the U.S. and the United Kingdom are blessed with and hold so dear—liberated Eastern Europe.
Lady Thatcher will be missed, but as the world says goodbye to the Iron Lady, we can take comfort in knowing that her legacy will outlive us all.