Senator John ThuneOn February 6, 2011, America will celebrate the 100th birthday of President Ronald Wilson Reagan. The centennial of our 40th president's birthday will undoubtedly be celebrated by people of all generations across the country.
President Reagan had a significant impact on many Americans' outlook on life-I know he did on mine. I was a sophomore in college and coming of age politically when Reagan was elected to his first term as President in 1980. As a young person, I remember being extremely impressed with President Reagan's idealism and focus on making our country better for the next generation. He understood that public service was not about him, but about serving a greater cause.
As the product of a small town in Illinois, President Reagan possessed a strong Midwestern sensibility. He personified the belief that people should live within their means and are ultimately responsible for their own actions and choices. His humility and common-man attitude allowed him to connect with people, and in turn, for people to truly feel a connection with him.
Beyond President Reagan's personal attributes, his actions only strengthened his legacy. Throughout his presidency, Ronald Reagan led America through a recession and won the Cold War. Whether it was the economy or national security, President Reagan was willing to confront the threats that faced our great nation.
As we celebrate Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday, we call to mind all of the strengths our former president possessed and feats he achieved.