The Ronald Reagan Library debuted an exhibit on Saturday which pays tribute to California’s fallen men and women. The “Remembering Our Fallen” exhibit honors the 725 lives that perished making the ultimate sacrifice by serving to protect the United States of America, and the whole of western civilization, in the battlefield during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
The exhibit, which was created by Patriotic Productions will be on display at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley between January 31 and February 8 before it travels across the Golden State. It will be on display in the Library’s Air Force One Pavilion.
On May 26, 1986, President Ronald Reagan delivered an address on Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery, which is listed on the Reagan Library’s “Remembering Our Fallen” memorial page. Part of it reads:
Today is the day we put aside to remember fallen heroes and to pray that no heroes will ever have to die for us again. It’s a day of thanks for the valor of others, a day to remember the splendor of America and those of her children who rest in this cemetery and others. It’s a day to be with the family and remember.
Five short days later, on May 31, Reagan delivered a noontime radio address from Camp David to the nation on terrorism. “Terrorists are always the enemies of democracy,” he said. The famous speech was roused partially in reaction to America’s defensive and reactionary strikes to Libya’s terrorist attack on Western Civilization after the country bombed a West Berlin night club in April of that same year. Several lines from his speech read:
So, perhaps the first step in solving some of these fundamental challenges in getting to the root cause of conflict is to declare that terrorism is not an acceptable alternative and will not be tolerated[…]
Terrorists intentionally kill or maim unarmed civilians, often women and children, often third parties who are not in any way part of a dictatorial regime[…]
The world is watching. If actions by a few Senators allow terrorists to find safe haven in the United States, then there will be irreparable damage.
Nearly 30 years later, Reagan’s words still resonate, arguably to an even higher degree today than they did before.
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter: @AdelleNaz.