Today is also the 25th anniversary of the Challenger disaster. I was 4 years old. I vaguely remember it. Certainly, throughout grade school we learned about the Challenger and the heroes who died for their country and science.
On Twitter, someone linked a video of President Ronald Reagan addressing the country on the heels of the disaster. In my opinion, a president should be a great leader. Politics are secondary to leadership skills. Presidents are never real extremists anyway, they need to be somewhat in the middle to get elected. Reagan was a great leader. He gave people hope, he gave people comfort and that is what I look for in a leader. Reagan’s short address exemplified his leadership.
He had a message for the schoolchildren who witnessed the disaster in their classrooms. It was very traumatic and left millions of children with unanswered questions.
I want to say something to the schoolchildren of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle’s take-off. I know it’s hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It’s all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It’s all part of taking a chance and expanding man’s horizons. The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave.
I would say the same applies to the insurgents in Tunisia and Egypt. We are witnesses to history today. The future belongs to the brave. It takes courage to stand up to tyranny. The protesters possess that courage.
When I was a child, Europe was in similar upheaval. Communist countries who had oppressed their citizens were being overturned seemingly every month. Today, we are witnessing a similar phenomenon in Tunisia and Egypt. Hopefully, this will usher in a new era of equality and fairness and not simply a new oppressive government.
The United States began in the same way. The people of this country overturned a tyrannical monarch to gain their freedom.
We share a lot with the protesters and our 40th president had a message that applies equally to them as it does to us.