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I remeber hearing of Reagan in 1968, when I was ~11 years old. How could the US government be stupid enough to fight the Soviet Union? Obviously co-existence was what we were going to have to do. In my mind, I suppose that meant for 1000 years. I was not able to realize, then, that history was something that might be happening while I was alive. The post WWII world was my world, the only world I could imagine at the time.

12 years later when Reagan ran against Carter, I voted for Jon Anderson. But I was GLAD Reagan was going to win over Carter. I noted that Reagan was the ONLY politician I had seen who said the same thing straight for 12 years in a row. That seemed somehow positive to me at the time. I had still had no clue that the Soviet Union would not last for a long time. But I had "progressed" to believing that you make things LESS evil by putting pressure on evil, not living with it, sleeping with it, dating it.

When the Berlin wall fell, I realized how shallow I had been. And just how much BETTER a place the world was than I had realized.

My personal thanks to you, President Reagan, for saying and doing so many things to hasten the betterment of the world, and for hastening my own understanding that this was in fact possible in ways I had not conceived. Thank you for your optimism and your good humor. Thank you for believing in something and telling us all about it even for, especially for the decade or more that few of us in the nation would listen.

I put the flag up for you this morning, President Reagan. My flagpole is too short to run it at half-staff, but I cried a little as I put it up. For a man of your indomitable good humor and optimism, maybe this works out after all.

Godspeed Mr. President, my president.

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