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Among the most memorable moments of President’s Reagan’s funeral, are the image of Lady Thatcher laying her hand on Reagan’s flag-draped casket, a final, silent farewell to an old friend; and the magnificent eulogy that she delivered at Washington National Cathedral.
The eulogy was pre-recorded, and amid the huge outpouring of affection and interest in President Reagan, that fact was barely noticed. A few years after the funeral, there were some rumors that when Reagan first realized that he was suffering from Alzheimer’s, and commencing what Nancy Reagan termed the “truly long, long, goodbye,” he called Lady Thatcher and asked her to record his eulogy.
When I read that, I felt positive that were he able to do so, Reagan would have returned the kindness to his old friend, and that somewhere in London, in the files outlining the plans for Lady Thatcher’s funeral, there is a DVD of President Reagan’s final tribute to the Iron Lady.
Reagan was, after all, the “Great Communicator.” If he felt he was physically and mentally up to the task of one last public appearance, I think he would have welcomed the opportunity to eulogize Margaret Thatcher.
We shall soon know. If Reagan was indeed able to do this, it will be an eloquent celebration of her wonderful life, and I believe there may also be a message there for America that will be relevant, and inspiring for us today.