Despite party, Reagan made difference for local leaders

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 8, 2004

With America still mourning the loss of former U.S President Ronald Reagan, 93, on Saturday to complications from Alzheimer’s disease, three local mayors and two U.S. Senators shared their thoughts on what made Reagan one of the best presidents to ever hold the office.

Three mayors from the West Alabama region talked about their personal thoughts on Reagan, whether they are supporters of the Republican party or the Democratic party, all three give reasons why they thought he was one of the better presidents ever.

Mayor of Demopolis Austin Caldwell said, for eight years, Reagan had the trust and the reliability of the people. He also said he did a lot of different things during his two terms in office that needed to be done.

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“He was one of the better presidents we’ve had in the past 50 years,” Caldwell said.

He said Reagan was able to gain the people’s trust and that allowed him to accomplish the many different things he did while in office.

The Mayor of Eutaw, Raymond Steele, shares the same feelings as Caldwell about the life of the president. He said death is always something that no one wants to face, especially when that someone is Ronald Reagan. He also said Saturday was a day of tragic loss for all American.

“Even though I’m not a Republican, I can’t help but to respect him,” Steele said.

He said Reagan was able to win the hearts of the American people both as a movie star and as a very effective president and that’s why Saturday’s loss is so tragic.

U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions said when learning of the former president’s death, that he was honored to be chosen by him to serve as United States Attorney an to be his choice for federal judge.

“Ronald Reagan had a deep and fully formed philosophy about America and American ideals when he came to office,” Sessions said, “Even in the face of the fiercest opposition he never waivered in those beliefs.”

He said his very life seemed to embody the highest and best of American values. He also said his courage to remain true to the purest of these ideals was his greatest strength.

“His goal was to free the greatness of individual Americans, assured that their goodness and industry would lift the nation and inspire the world to freedom and progress,” Sessions said, “This was the key to his success.”

The Mayor of Uniontown, Phillip White, said it’s a sad day for the American people.

“He was one of the better presidents we’ve had in a long time,” White said.

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby said Reagan embodied the spirit of America, and his eternal optimism resonated in the hearts of people everywhere. He also said his faith in democracy and belief in the American way will forever be his legacy.

“History will remember President Reagan as one of the greatest leaders of our time,” Shelby said, “He was a supreme president, and his strength and leadership were central to our country winning the Cold War.”