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Always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience (1 Peter 3:15b-16a ESV)

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6/11/2004

RIP: Ronald W. Reagan 

I've put off posting on this until today, because I wanted to make sure that everything was finished before I said anything about what happened, or about President Reagan.

I've been kinda numb this week. Reagan was the president who influenced me to be a bit more politically active than I had been before, and take an interest in how things were run. I paid more attention, and learned a lot.

But it was still simply the death of a former president to me. I was sad, and felt bad for the family, but I didn't really mourn his passing until today.

Of the three eulogies in California, Michael's was surely the most moving. For the first time, I was reacting to Ronald Reagan not as a leader, but as a human being. A father. I knew how Ron, Patti, and Michael were feeling, because I had been there. Losing a leader is nothing -- losing a father is one of the hardest things that anyone will ever have to do. I watched just now as Nancy was given the flag, and I remembered when my Mom was given the flag from my Dad's casket, and the emotion I felt. I could actually relate to what they were feeling.

I think that's what was missing all this week. There was pomp and ceremony, a celebration of a great man and his legacy. But there was little emotion. I never thought of the person who was gone -- just the world leader. Today, I thought of the man: the father, the husband, the grandfather. And now I mourn -- for the family.

Pray for the family. The next week will be the hardest -- when everyone else gets to go on with their lives, and you start to realize just how much your own has changed.


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