Capitol gets Reagan statue
Former staffers say the bronze captures the personality of the 40th U. S. president.
SACRAMENTO — Proclaiming, “It’s morning again in California,” Republican state lawmakers and political veterans gathered in the Capitol on Monday to unveil an 8- foot- tall, 800pound bronze statue of former California Gov. and U. S. President Ronald Reagan.
Joining the commemoration were officials who served in Reagan’s presidential administration, including former Secretary of State George Shultz.
“Ronald Regan is alive for all of us because his ideas last,” Shultz said. “Why do the ideas last? Because they worked.”
Former U. S. Energy Secretary John S. Herrington said the statue, placed in the rotunda of the Capitol on the basement level, captures the essence of the 40th president.
“I want you to look at the face — the face that has the resolute expression of conviction that President Reagan always had. Look at the outstretched hand, reaching for anyone who believed in freedom and liberty and those who wanted it in America,” Herrington said.
Many other speakers struck wistful notes about Reagan’s time in office, so different from today, with Democrats holding the White House and overwhelming political power in Sacramento.
“I wish I could stand here and say it’s morning again in America,” said Assemblyman Scott Wilk ( R- Santa Clarita), evoking Reagan’s signature campaign slogan. “I can’t. But I can say it’s morning again in California, at least this day, at this particular time.”
Douglas Elmets, chairman of the Ronald Reagan Centennial Capitol Foundation, said the sculpture was funded entirely by private donors, including media magnate Rupert Murdoch and former Univision chief executive Jerry Perenchio, a major GOP donor.
A replica of the statue will be installed in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library in Simi Valley later this year.
“I think we’re going to see, as the years go by, the greatness of a man,” said Sen. Mike Morrell ( R- Rancho Cucamonga). “Reagan stood at 6 feet 1. Now, he is 8 feet tall.”
A REPLICA of this statue will be installed in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library.