I’m one of those Civil War amateur historian types that dig the history of these kinds of things. I’ve read alot about Lincoln’s State Funeral, seen all kinds of pictures, and even had in my own grubby hands a piece of the shroud laid around his coffin.
I have watched all the stuff about President Reagan all week and couldn’t wait to see the procession. I spent some time today over lunch reading his speeches and looking at some old newspaper articles from his Presidency. Walked through my own memory lane and considered what I thought of Reagan THEN as a very young man in high school and early in college. I thought I was prepared for the “show” tonight.
I get home and flip on the tube just as the coffin is being put on the Caisson. Then I saw it…and them…and lost it.
It wasn’t Nancy and her strength. It wasn’t our National Pride in the Uniforms of our branches of service. It wasn’t the thousands of folks lining Constitution Avenue.
It was the Riderless Horse with Reagan’s own boots reversed in the stirrups. I believe the tradition goes back to the Rev War days and probably back to a European tradition. For some reason this symbol of a fallen Soldier touches me in a way I can’t explain…just as President Reagan touched this Country in a way I’m still not sure we as a Nation fully appreciate.
He didn’t pull us out of the mess we were in, he just showed us, encouraged us, and at times FORCED us to get over it. Show the same Spirit that whipped the 18th Century Superpower of Great Britain and clean up our mess.
I was sad for just long enough to realize that I should be proud. Proud of the Spirit he reminded us of. Proud of a lifetime of service. Proud of a man led by his convictions and humbled by his God and Savior. Proud of the Nation that we are…and can be.
That’s when I stood alittle taller. The tears continued but I was no longer sad for his family. I was proud of our Country.