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RONALD WILSON REAGAN / 1911-2004 | EXCERPTS FROM SPEECHES

'Mr. Gorbachev, Open This Gate'

June 06, 2004

Remarks at Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, June 12, 1987:

General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace -- if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe -- if you seek liberalization: Come here, to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall....

Today, thus, represents a moment of hope. We in the West stand ready to cooperate with the East to promote true openness -- to break down the barriers that separate people, to create a safer, freer world. And surely there is no better place than Berlin, the meeting place of East and West, to make a start....

And I invite Mr. Gorbachev: Let us work to bring the eastern and western parts of the city closer together, so that all the inhabitants of all Berlin can enjoy the benefits that should come with life in one of the great cities of the world....

Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall. For it cannot withstand faith. It cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom. Thank you. God bless you all.

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Address to the nation after the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger Oval Office, Jan. 28, 1986:

We'll continue our quest in space. There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and, yes, more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers, in space. Nothing ends here -- our hopes and our journeys continue....

The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them -- this morning, as they prepared for their journey, and waved goodbye, and 'slipped the surly bonds of Earth' to 'touch the face of God.'

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Remarks during the dedication of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, near Simi Valley, Nov. 4, 1991:

I, too, have been described as an undying optimist, always seeing a glass half full when some see it as half empty. And, yes, it's true -- I always see the sunny side of life. And that's not just because I've been blessed by achieving so many of my dreams. My optimism comes not just from my strong faith in God, but from my strong and enduring faith in man.

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"Evil Empire" speech to the National Assn. of Evangelicals, Orlando, Fla., March 8, 1983:

... I urge you to beware the temptation of pride -- the temptation to blithely declare yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong, good and evil.

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