Monday, June 07, 2004

President Reagan has died

President Reagan has died
I liked President Reagan and I was honored to work
with him in a small way. While he was President the US
Congress forbade the use of tax dollars for the
Freedom Fighters in Nicaragua. Not to be stopped by a
mere law Reagan set out to aid the Freedom Fighters
while complying with the letter of the Boland
Amendment. One of the ways he did so was the CFA. Lou
Lehrman former Chairman of RiteAid was the Chairman
and Mark Holtzman was the executive director. As soon
as they started I called Mark Holtzman and got in on
the fun. I was named one of the many co-chairs. With
boyish enthusiasm we set off to battle the forces of
Evil. It was a simple effort and we never got near the
sound of gunfire. Finally I helped come up with a plan
that destabilized Nicaragua and forced the Communists
to call for free elections.

One thing that impressed me was that Reagan was a true
believer. He saw himself as holding the ramparts
against the anti-Christ. Maybe one reason he was not
effective with Terrorism was that he was focused on
Communism as the Face of Satan. He set out to break
the Russians and he did. What we discussed in the
early part of his Presidency came to pass. It was good
times and Reagan was a good man. Not perfect and we
made more than a few errors but Reagan worried more
about what was right rather than what was expedient. I
wish I could tell you we were friends but I was a very
minor player in a big game. Still whenever I would see
him he made me feel like we were close friends and I
always pretended not to see the aid whisper my name in
his ear as was about to greet me. I miss him.
Best wishes,
Barry O'Connell


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