Monday, July 4, 2011

England Will Celebrate The 4th Of July By Honoring President Reagan

England will be honoring Ronald Reagan today by erecting a statue of the Gipper in near the U.S. Embassy in Grosvenor Square:
An $800,000 statue honoring former President Ronald Reagan is set to be unveiled on Independence Day, joining monuments to Franklin Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower in the heart of the British capital.
At a time when the much-celebrated "special relationship" between the U.S. and Britain is widely seen to have frayed, about 2,000 people are expected at the ceremony. Organizers say that is about ten times the typical crowd for such an event. 
Former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who declined an invitation to Prince William's recent wedding due to her poor health, is said to be "determined" to attend. Now aged 85, the "Iron Lady" rarely appears in public. 
Nancy Reagan will be represented at the ceremony by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who will give the keynote address. U.S. Ambassador Louis B. Susman and a congressional delegation led by House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy are also due to attend on Monday.
Reagan Foundation executive director John Heubusch told that roughly $800,000 had been raised from private donors for the sculpture, with around 40 percent of the funds coming from people in the U.K.
England will also will not only be honoring him but the impact he had on the world as a promoter of freedom and liberty:
Sculpted by Charlotte, N.C.-based artist Chas Fagan, the 10-foot bronze will stand near statues of Eisenhower and Roosevelt outside the U.S. Embassy in Grosvenor Square. A plaque will recognize the 40th president's role in ending the Cold War.
The ceremony will be part of a European tour celebrating Reagan's 100th birthday. It will be followed by a black-tie gala at London’s historic Guildhall – where Thatcher hosted Reagan upon his return from a visit with Mikhail Gorbachev in 1988.
Although July 4th is a day to celebrate America's independence from England, it is really a holiday devoted to freedom. Ronald Reagan had an unwavering belief that freedom is a right to be enjoyed by all of mankind because "freedom is one of the deepest and noblest aspirations of the human spirit."

Yet, while Reagan encouraged each of us to remember the important concept of freedom during the July 4th festivities, he also encouraged us to have fun in our celebration:
Have a safe and wonderful Fourth of July!!!

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