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  • Honoring President Ronald Reagan in London

    Here’s good news for a Friday: the planning committee of the Westminster City Council in London has given its approval for the placement of a statue honoring President Reagan outside the American Embassy. The statue will be accompanied by a piece of the Berlin Wall, to pay tribute to Reagan’s role in ending the Cold War.

    The Council normally allows memorials only for individuals who have been dead for at least ten years, but in recognition of Reagan’s status as a former head of state, and of the Special Relationship, it waved the rule in this case. And the words of the Chairman of the committee, Steve Summers, are a fitting tribute to the President and to the Anglo-American bond:

    Regardless of politics, nobody can dispute that President Reagan was a true ally of this country. During his presidency the term ‘special relationship’ reflected not just the close working partnership of our respective governments, but helped reinforce Britain’s unquestionable cultural and historic ties with the United States. Subsequent presidencies have continued that unique bond between our countries so it is only right and proper we exempt President Reagan, as a former head of state, from the usual rules on statues.

    Not everyone was so gracious: a member of the Green Party expressed “disbelief” at the idea of honoring Reagan, and the U.S. Embassy, reflecting the fact that the statue – though it was supported enthusiastically by Robert Tuttle, the last US Ambassador to the UK – is a private initiative, was notably cautious.

    But it looks very likely that Reagan will join former President Eisenhower in Grosvenor Square. In fact, London is becoming quite the center of presidential sculpture: there is a George Washington, an Abraham Lincoln, the Eisenhower, a Kennedy bust, and two FDRs – one with Churchill, and one on his own.

    For our part, Washington DC has a fine statue of Winston Churchill – his right hand raised in the “V for Victory” sign – outside the grounds [3] of the British Embassy. The first statue to Margaret Thatcher in the U.S. is on the grounds of Hillsdale College, in Michigan. The question that Britain’s generosity in honoring Reagan in its capitol city raises is whether the U.S. will reciprocate.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to Honoring President Ronald Reagan in London

    1. David Boothroyd says:

      I was the Labour member on the planning committee and was pleased to make this a unanimous vote – despite the ribbing I got from left-wing work colleagues. Regardless of what one thinks of Reagan he was a figure of global significance.

      By the way there is also a statue of Lincoln in Manchester in north-west England, put up in 1918 to mark the support cotton trade workers gave to the Union in the Civil War (they supported the blockade of Confederate exports of cotton, even though it caused unemployment locally).

    2. Barb -mn says:

      President Reagan stood for everything a person can make themselves. He showed strength and integrity. He strengthened human qualities of the individual. Something most of the people of this country gave up or never took on with the current government backing.

    3. Dan, San Antonio, Tx says:

      I'm sure BO is making plans to be at the unvailing of the statue and will be wondering where his monument will be located.

    4. Blue Dog Macomb, MI says:

      Would that we had a Ronald Reagan on the political stage today.

    5. Jamey, Central Calif says:

      Good show.

    6. Pingback: Reagan statue planned for London « Suitable For Mixed Company

    7. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      The only other staue of one of our Presidents in England is Lincoln. How truly fitting. Obama's will be three miles south of Hell along side of Jane Fonda's.


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