June 3rd, 2009
02:53 PM ET
13 years ago

Emotional Nancy Reagan unveils statue of former president

WASHINGTON (CNN) - An emotional Nancy Reagan on Wednesday helped unveil a statue of her late husband, President Ronald Reagan, calling the 7-foot figure "a wonderful likeness."

Mrs. Reagan paused during her brief speech at the ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda, appearing to battle emotions as she mentioned her last visit to the marbled hall for Reagan's memorial in June 2004.

"It's nice to be back under happier circumstances," she said.

The statue is one of two from California in the National Statuary Hall Collection donated by states to honor significant figures.

Mrs. Reagan stood arm-in-arm with Rep. John Boehner, the House minority leader from Ohio, to pull down the curtain from the statue. She thanked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California for making the event possible.

In her remarks, Pelosi noted that the former president's statue contains pieces of the Berlin Wall, "as a symbol of his commitment to national security and to his success." The wall was torn down shortly after Reagan left office.

The former president is credited with polices that led to the break-up of the former Soviet Union and the dismantling of the wall that divided Berlin as a symbol of Cold War politics.

James Baker, a longtime Republican who served in the Cabinets of Reagan and President George H.W. Bush, recalled that Reagan inherited some major problems when he took office in 1981.

Citing the former president's trademark optimism, he quoted from Reagan's first inaugural address that "we are not, as some would have us believe, doomed to an inevitable decline."

Mrs. Reagan attended a White House ceremony Tuesday marking President Barack Obama's signing of legislation authorizing a Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission. The 11 member commission will plan activities marking Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday on February 6, 2011.

Filed under: Nancy Reagan • President Obama • Ronald Reagan
soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. nclaw441

    Shirley in California:
    Don't go off half-cocked. "Statute" is a law. "Statue" is a piece of 3-D art. I believe the article in this case was talking about a carved figure of President Reagan, and not a law.

    Now don't you feel a little silly?

    June 3, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  2. Chris

    I agree Ken....the stupidity of your "dis-logic" is truly and utterly amazing.

    Since you are so much more intelligent than the rest of us, perhaps you can explain something.

    Where in any of my statements have I praised G W Bush? Let's see I called the Repubs drunk with power and blamed G W Bush for the Obama-mess we're in now. I guess I should blame you too.

    I'm awake, are you? Wake up America! See Ken and the rest of the Obamanites for what they are.

    June 3, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. Chris

    For the Dems who never read truth...I'll post again...
    To those who think Reagan favored the rich, go back and read your tax tables…

    In 1986, if a couple made more than $150K, Ole Ronny would tax them 49%.

    I don't approve, but he sure did have a lot to clean up after Carter. I think Jimmy spent a lot…kind of like the new "Jimmy" Obama.

    June 3, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
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