Nancy Reagan will be on hand for the unveiling of the Ronald Reagan statue in the National Statuary Hall at the United States Capitol on Tuesday, June 3, 2009. On Monday, Mrs. Reagan was at the side of President Barack Obama as he signed the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission Act, which calls for national celebrations and educational programming to honor the 100th anniversary of the former president’s birth in 2011.
President Reagan helped as much as any president to restore a sense of optimism in our country, a spirit that transcended politics, that transcended even the most heated arguments of the day,” said President Obama.
The sculpture of President Reagan is the creation of Chas Fagan. It was commissioned and paid for by the Ronald Reagan Foundation.
There are 100 sculptures in the National Statuary Hall Collection, two from each state in the Union.
Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.”
President Harry Truman
A highlight of my recent visit to Washington DC was seeing the War Memorials on the National Mall. I took photographs one morning in early May 2009:
Vietnam War Reflections
The power of the Wall is in the reflections of the living superimposed upon the names of the dead heroes.
Reflections on the Wall
Korean War Reflections
Korean War Soldier
Gratitude and Remembrance
World War II
Three tour buses had pulled up at the World War II Memorial just before I arrived at the site. Elderly war veterans disembarked one by one. Many were in wheel chairs. A tall man, in his eighties, wearing a cap embroidered with the words “Top Gun,” sat down on a ledge and quietly wept.
World War II Veterans
World War II Reflecting Pool
The 2009 AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington DC was an amazing event. The Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, World War II Memorial, the White House, the Smithsonian Museums, Capitol Hill, the Supreme Court, and the National Archives are all minutes away from the convention center. But most of the excitement was within the hall, as we attended workshops on politics and the Middle East, and heard speeches by Israeli President Shimon Peres, Vice President Joe Biden, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durban (D-IL), Senate Republican Whip (R-AZ), Senator John Kerry (D-MA), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA), and many others.
On Monday night, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made an address via satellite to the Gala Banquet, which was attended by 6,500 people, including conference delegates, more than half of Congress, numerous ambassadors and diplomats, as well as White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
Congressman Wally Herger, representing California’s 2nd District, joined us at our table. He told us that he was going to deliver a one-minute speech about Iran and Israel on the House on May 7, 2009. He did not disappoint us:
Dwight David Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States, was once known as a “do-nothing President.” (Those were the days.) His presidential legacy includes creating the Interstate Highway System, completing the St. Lawrence Seaway, and establishing the Federal Aviation Administration. (In retrospect, it seems like his detractors might have been wrong.)
President Eisenhower will be honored with a memorial in Washington DC. Gehry Partners, LLP, the Los Angeles-based architectural firm headed by Frank O. Gehry, has been selected as lead designer by the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission and the General Services Administration. Mr. Gehry is well known for his designs of the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park in Chicago.
The Eisenhower Memorial will be the seventh national presidential memorial in Washington DC. It will be built on a four-acre site, across from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.