By Angela Deavers
President Barack Obama wrote, “When the future looked darkest and the way ahead seemed uncertain, President Reagan understood both the hardships we faced and the hopes we held for the future. He understood that it is always ‘Morning in America.’ That was his gift, and we remain forever grateful.”
On a dark and stormy Saturday night (April 21), about 80 grateful people came to the Washington fire hall to pay tribute to one of America’s greatest leaders at the Rappahannock County Republican Party’s annual Ronald Reagan Dinner. The dinner is potluck and informal, and gives Rappahannock residents, and those of neighboring counties, the opportunity to meet past, present and aspiring politicians and government insiders in a social setting.
After dinner, former county Republican chair Terry Dixon and newly elected chair Evelyn Kerr welcomed guests, including Del. Michael Webert (18th district), before last year’s speaker, Dr. James C. Miller III (former director of the Office of Management and Budget, member of President Reagan’s cabinet and of the National Security Council), introduced this year’s speaker, Jim Kuhn. Kuhn is author of “Ronald Reagan in Private” and was an advance man during Reagan’s 1976 and 1980 campaigns, a deputy assistant to the President, and, finally, Reagan’s executive assistant.
In his farewell address, Reagan said: “And how stands the city [upon a hill] on this . . . night? . . . [S]he still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she’s still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.” And it was fitting that by the end of the evening, the storm had passed, and guests left under clear skies.