I’ve just watched on CNN the final farewell to Ronald Reagan. The whole week of memorials has been incredibly emotional from the huge queues to pass his coffin, to the memorial services to even the tens of thousands of cars and people who pulled aside in California to see his hearse go by.
The tribute from his adopted son, and other children, was truly moving. And most of all the devotion from Nancy.
Reagan helped change the world, and it was for the better. Few people can have that said about them.
One of the things I really admire about the US is how they pay tribute to their former leaders. Federal Officers keep their titles for life, and generally regardless of partisan politics, they are respected for the contribution they tried to make. Of course Reagan was not a saint, and he did some things wrong – but this is a time for remembering all the great things he did.
In NZ, we seem to have lost this. One of my favourite spots in Wellington is the Massey Memorial near Shelley Bay. Apart from having the most beautiful scenery and stunning view of Wellington, it is a magnificent tribute to a former PM. The Savage memorial is good also. Nowadays what do we do – our second longest serving PM gets a little statue on Molesworth Street. Doesn’t compare much to the wonderful Presidential Libraries in the US.