Here is the last communication of President Ronald Reagan to the world. In 1994, he personally wrote a letter announcing that he had Alzheimer's Disease. There are so many ways to remember President Reagan. With all of the "tear down that wall" and city on the hill quotes you'll be hearing over the next few days, this is one that might get missed and one that you should read:
November 5, 1994This letter displays the courage and optimism of the man that was Ronald Reagan. At this point, he hadn't been President for almost 5 years. No speech writer wrote that letter. No editor checked it first. One word was crossed out and the rest of it stood on it's own.
My fellow Americans, I have recently been told that I am one of the millions of Americans who will be afflicted with Alzheimer's disease.
Upon learning this news, Nancy and I had to decide whether as private citizens we would keep this a private matter or whether we would make this news known in a public way. In the past, Nancy suffered from breast cancer and I had my cancer surgeries. We found through our open disclosures we were able to raise public awareness. We were happy that as a result, many more people underwent testing. They were treated in early stages and able to return to normal, healthy lives.
So now we feel it is important to share it with you. In opening our hearts,we hope this might promote greater awareness of this condition. Perhaps it will encourage a clearer understanding of the individuals and families who are affected by it.
At the moment I feel just fine. I intend to live the remainder of the years God gives me on this Earth doing the things I have always done. I will continue to share life's journey with my beloved Nancy and my family. I plan to enjoy the great outdoors and stay in touch with my friends and supporters.
Unfortunately, as Alzheimer's disease progresses, the family often bears a heavy burden. I only wish there was some way I could spare Nancy from this painful experience. When the time comes, I am confident that with your help she will face it with faith and courage.
In closing, let me thank you, the American people, for giving me the great honor of allowing me to serve as your president. When the Lord calls me home, whenever that day may be, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future.
I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead.
Thank you, my friends. May God always bless you.
It's the best indicator of Ronald Reagan's heart and soul...which was filled with Courage and Optimism.