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It's Time To Honor A Great American

John P. Snyder

July 10, 2003

There will be an additional high school added to Frederick County schools within the next five years. I believe it is time to honor a great American.

Let's honor this man by naming the new school Ronald W. Reagan Senior High School. A fitting tribute to a man who impacted our nation's peace and prosperity for generations to come.

Faded, perhaps, from our memories, is the fear and instability the Russian-led communist threat to world peace. A formidable foe, some thought the world would have to coexist in order to maintain a relative peace. As a result, many gave the communist empire a moral equivalancy with our country.

Ronald Reagan never wavered in his belief that our country was the "shining city on the hill" and would persevere against world tyranny. He believed that bargaining from a position of strength was in the best interest of the American people. Ultimately, the Soviets could not compete. They rotted from the inside out and crumbled, without a World War III.

His determined efforts earned the world a wonderful peace. Our children today, save the threat of terrorism, live in a world without the nuclear weapons possibilities of former generations. Thanks to Ronald Reagan.

He was perennially optimistic, encouraged responsibility and hard work. It is said that he respected the presidency so much that he would not remove his jacket while in the Oval Office. He had the gift of communication like few others. Few will forget his words at the funeral for the Challenger astronauts or at the 40th anniversary of D-Day. Or his remarkable comeback from an assassin's bullet that was more serious than he let on.

Yes, he had his detractors. They tried to criminalize foreign policy decisions by pursuing what was called the Iran-Contra affair. Leftists and some Democrats tried mightily to bring him down. His spending on defense was not matched by domestic spending cuts, as agreed to, and he left with a sizable deficit. The Democratic controlled Congress took no responsibility.

He was elected in two sizable landslides, in 1980 and 1984. He refused to campaign in Minnesota lest he embarrass his opponent, Walter Mondale.

When he left office, he was 77 years old.

The Board of Education has a rule prohibiting the naming of schools for people. This apparently was in response to difficulty incurred in Montgomery County, where they have named schools after Eleanor Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Albert Einstein, Sally Ride and Roberto Clemente. We are not Montgomery County. Since this rule is not etched in stone, it can be changed.

No doubt this proposal will raise the ire of the liberals among us. What would be so controversial? They renamed National Airport after him, as well as a federal office building.

New Hampshire named a mountain after him. He was, after all, a great American.

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