The grounds of the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley were warmly welcoming. All of our now adult children joined us for this first-time experience. Our first grandchild added a lot of joy to this visit.
It was breathtaking to take in the expanse of the 100 acre mountainous Southern California setting. The land for this special memorial center was a private donation. We paused several times to enjoy the vistas before we ever entered the library.
Our family gathered around the elevated bronze sculpture of President Reagan that greeted all guests. His cheerful smile made me smile with all of the confidence that he poured into his leadership of our great land. I remember the confidence that I hoped my children would someday sense as young Americans.
Inside of the museum we sat down to view a welcome video with words spoken by Ronald Reagan himself. He told us of his intentions when he first stepped into the office of the President of the United States. They were historic inspiring words.
His hope was to restore the American spirit. He knew that the problems facing the USA were grave. Our national economy was in trouble.
American morale was dangerously low. Hope in the American dream was waning. Our national election gave Ronald Reagan our trust to change things back to the exceptionalism that was woven into the very fabric of this great country.
At the inauguration ceremony Reagan’s swearing in was done using his mother’s Bible. Today that Bible is encased in the library opened up to 2 Chronicles 7.14 ”If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal the land.”
His mother inscribed in her Bible a thought for the day: ”You can be too big for God to use, but you cannot be too small.” Did she have some inclination that this would help chart the course for her son? It is a valuable piece of wisdom for any who would enter a position of notoriety and influence.
With every display and around every corner there were insights into what made this man into a remarkable leader. Reagan would realign America with the great blessings in its founding. He would also influence the world to find a better course toward peace.
photo credit: brucefong photography