Mr. President

14th June 2004

I remember sitting in class as a child and thinking to myself, “It’s 1981, I’m in kindergarten, and Ronald Reagan is president.”

I didn’t know then what being president meant, and President Reagan was a symbol to me, like our flag. I associate him with the part of me that still tears up when I hear the national anthem, and the part of me that knows I am fortunate to have been born here–even as I cringe at how our actions as a country have alienated much of the world.

President Reagan was the first president I remember, and I thought of him as a five year old thinks of her parents: benevolent, wise, infallible. I now know that isn’t completely true, of him or my parents, but it’s the memory of that feeling I miss, as much as the man.

Ronald Reagan was my president, and I adored him. I’m sorry he’s gone.