Everyone in the modern conservative era knows the earth-changing significance of Ronald Wilson Reagan: his foreign policy triumphs, victory in the Cold War and promoting peace through strength and his domestic policy initiatives, cutting taxes, and creating jobs with opportunities.
I had the privilege serving in the Reagan administration as a deputy counsel at the Department of Energy and was honored to meet President and Mrs. Reagan during my service in Washington.
Behind every great man is a great woman, and that is no truer than in the case of Nancy Davis Reagan — a tenacious woman whose contributions to the American people may never be fully known.
In her gentle, unassuming fashion, Nancy Reagan showed American families the importance of service and principled advocacy.
Nancy Reagan showed us that service didn’t have to be grandiose — rather that small acts could make a world of difference. Nancy’s fierce love for her husband and her country was her service. She was a support for the Commander in Chief — an understated role whose value cannot be overstated. Whether it was hosting the leader of the Soviet Union or caring for her husband after his assassination attempt, Nancy was the definition of grace under pressure.
A passionate advocate, Nancy Reagan served others in the same quiet, humble way she supported her husband. As first lady of California, Nancy welcomed Vietnam veterans and helped them adjust to returning home. As first lady of the United States, she helped educate an entire generation of young Americans about the dangers of drug abuse and addiction. After her husband’s diagnosis, we recall her steadfast devotion to the president and her advocacy for new Alzheimer’s treatments and research. Nancy reminded us how hard the long goodbye can be on caregivers and gave comfort and reassurance to families facing their own struggles with Alzheimer’s.
Mrs. Reagan showed that no act of kindness, no act of love is too small to be meaningful. She practiced what she preached, living every day to the fullest. In every sense of the word, she was the very model of a first lady, wife and mother.
Just two days after what would have been their 64th wedding anniversary, Nancy Reagan went to join her beloved husband, “Ronnie,” with God. The Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, is an inspiring tribute to two great Americans. May God bless their memories.