Reagan Statue Unveiled in Newport Beach

Congressmen Rohrabacher & Royce, and Councilman Keith Curry dedicate Reagan Statue

The memory and accomplishments of California’s President Ronald Reagan were appropriately honored, in his centennial year, in the unveiling of a sharp, life-size statue of Reagan at a ceremony at 1:00 pm today in Bonita Canyon Sports Park in Newport Beach.

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On hand to dedicate the statue were Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, who served in the Reagan White House as a speech writer before his election to Congress, Congressman Ed Royce, a veteran of all of Ronald Reagan’s political campaigns, members of the Newport Beach city council and other elected officials, and about 300 local residents.

The idea of the Reagan statue in Newport Beach was Councilman Keith Curry’s, who won the necessary approvals and took the lead in raising money from the private sector to pay for the statue.  According to Curry, the statue was paid for entirely by private funds.  In remarks, Curry spoke to both Reagan’s interest in this area of our state, and the respect he gained during his career from both Republicans and Democrats, and mentioned that Reagan was quite a favorite in Newport Beach himself, where he received 77% of the vote in his last election as President!

Also on hand were John Shaw, the Development Director of the Reagan Presidential Foundation, who discussed efforts to raise statues and name monuments to Reagan all over the world, and who welcomed visitors to the newly renovated Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, as well as statue artist Miriam Baker, a local American Legion color guard, and the youthful Sonora Eagles Advanced Band.

A true unveiling....!

During his lifetime the U.S. Congress renamed Washington’s National Airport the Ronald Reagan National Airport.  Streets and plazas are being named for him in Eastern Europe, and last year I had the pleasure of working on some of the details of a dedication to him in Berlin, Germany at the Berlin Wall Museum at former Checkpoint Charlie.  The Reagan Presidential Foundation itself has not only erected a terrific memorial to him at the Library in Simi Valley, but also worked to raise a statue to the President outside the American Embassy on Grosvenor Square in London, which was unveiled earlier this year.  These are all fitting memorials to the President who won the Cold War, and whose policies of lower taxes and reducing the growth of government spending resulted in the biggest peacetime economic expansion to its time in history.

However, the Newport Beach statue is a very special monument of a smiling and waiving Reagan, lustered in a golden tone calling to mind the motto of California – the Golden State.  Councilman Curry deserves much credit for his work in seeing this particular remembrance of Reagan through to completion!

Jim Lacy at Reagan Statue in London

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