Monday, June 07, 2004

President Reagan has died

President Reagan has died
I liked President Reagan and I was honored to work with him in a small way. While he was President the US Congress forbade the use of tax dollars for the Freedom Fighters in Nicaragua. Not to be stopped by a mere law Reagan set out to aid the Freedom Fighters while complying with the letter of the Boland Amendment. One of the ways he did so was the CFA. Lou Lehrman former Chairman of RiteAid was the Chairman and Mark Holtzman was the executive director. As soon as they started I called Mark Holtzman and got in on the fun. I was named one of the many co-chairs. With boyish enthusiasm we set off to battle the forces of Evil. It was a simple effort and we never got near the sound of gunfire. Finally I helped come up with a plan that destabilized Nicaragua and forced the Communists to call for free elections.

One thing that impressed me was that Reagan was a true believer. He saw himself as holding the ramparts against the anti-Christ. Maybe one reason he was not effective with Terrorism was that he was focused on Communism as the Face of Satan. He set out to break the Russians and he did. What we discussed in the early part of his Presidency came to pass. It was good times and Reagan was a good man. Not perfect and we made more than a few errors but Reagan worried more about what was right rather than what was expedient. I wish I could tell you we were friends but I was a very minor player in a big game. Still whenever I would see him he made me feel like we were close friends and I always pretended not to see the aid whisper my name in his ear as was about to greet me. I miss him.
Best wishes,
Barry O'Connell