Condoleezza Rice - Ronald Reagan London statue calls for a more glorious future
Condoleezza Rice & William Hague laud Ronald Reagan at statue unveiling London (YouTube)
This video is of an outdoor ceremony held near the US Embassy, Grosvenor Square, London, on 4th July, US Independence Day, in 2011, the centenary of the birth of the 40th President of the USA, Ronald Reagan to unveil a new statue of Ronald Reagan there.
Condoleezza Rice, the Former US Secretary of State, representing Nancy Reagan, the former US First Lady and wife of President Ronald Reagan, speaks first.
Condi thanks the people of Great Britain for the honour bestowed upon Ronald Reagan and upon the American people of establishing this statue of Ronald Reagan, describing the special relationship as an unshakable faith in our values across an ocean and across time, our courage to act on those values, to save one another from trouble and to project those values and hopes for those who still toil in tyranny, understanding the irrepressible human spirit which triumphs because the desire for freedom is universal.
The statue represents Ronald Reagan's partnership with another great patriot Lady Thatcher, Prime Minister of Great Britain.
The world we see today, a Europe whole, free and at peace, a Europe in which we enjoy friendship and alliance with the former captive states in the transatlantic alliance called "NATO" seemed impossible in the dark days of World War 2 and in the days when the shadow of Soviet communism covered half a continent and, as Condoleezza Rice can tell us, even in the beginning of 1989. Incredibly, the Berlin wall came down, Europe was liberated, and hammer and sickle would came down from the Kremlin for the last time.
This gives us hope and optimism and will to stand this those who are still trapped in tyranny, to stand with those who profess faith in our values.
The statue is a commemoration of a glorious past and a call to an even more glorious future.
Then Chairman of the Board for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation Fred Ryan, introduces the next and final speaker, William Hague, the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, who recalls some memorable Ronald Reagan quotes and moments before the platform party including Kevin McCarthy, Majority Whip, the current U.S. ambassador Louis B. Susman, and former U.S. ambassador Robert Tuttle unveil the 10 foot bronze statue.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (2nd L) and Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague (2nd R) listen to the U.S. national anthem at the unveiling of a statue of former President Ronald Reagan outside the U.S. embassy in London July 4, 2011. The 10 foot high statue was commissioned to commemorate Ronald Reagan's achievements and to mark 100 years since his birth.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (L) and Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague listen to a speech at the unveiling of a statue of former President Ronald Reagan outside the U.S. embassy in London July 4, 2011. The 10 foot high statue was commissioned to commemorate Ronald Reagan's achievements and to mark 100 years since his birth.
A statue of the late U.S. President Ronald Reagan is unveiled by, from left, former U.S. ambassador Robert Tuttle, Chairman of the Board for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation Fred Ryan, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague and current U.S. ambassador Louis B. Susman outside the U.S. embassy in London, Monday, July 4, 2011. The 10 foot bronze was unveiled Monday to mark the centenary of Reagan's birth.
BBC: Ronald Reagan statue unveiled at US Embassy in London
Reagan statue unveiled in London
A statue of former US President Ronald Reagan has been unveiled at a ceremony outside the American embassy in central London.
The invited guests include former UK prime minister Baroness Thatcher - who was a close ally of Reagan when they were both in power in the 1980s.
The 10-foot bronze statue was specially commissioned to "recognise Mr Reagan's contribution to ending the Cold War".
A piece of the Berlin Wall will be installed in front of the plinth.
The statue stands outside the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square, opposite the statue of President Dwight Eisenhower.
Lady Thatcher famously described Mr Reagan as "the second most important man" in her life.
She once said he had "a higher claim than any other leader to have won the Cold War for liberty and he did it without a shot being fired".
Ahead of the unveiling - which falls on US Independence Day - UK Foreign Secretary William Hague read out a tribute from Lady Thatcher, who was unable to attend because of her frail health.
Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were close allies during the 1980s
Lady Thatcher said of him: "Ronald Reagan was a great president and a great man. A true leader for our times. He held clear principles and acted upon them with purpose.
"Through his strength and his conviction he brought millions of people to freedom as the iron curtain came down.
"It was a pleasure to be his colleague and his friend and I hope this statue will be a reminder to future generations of the debt we owe him."
Mr Hague himself described Mr Reagan as "one of America's greatest sons and a giant of 20th Century history".
Mr Reagan famously described the Soviet Union as the "evil empire" and kept up a hardline strategy towards it, escalating the arms race with the USSR during his firm term in office.
“He made a decisive impact on the world in which we live” - Lord Howe Former Conservative foreign secretary
However, during his second term, and after encouragement from Lady Thatcher, Mr Reagan employed diplomatic means as well, meeting Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on a number of occasions and putting pressure on him, both publicly and privately, to reform.
Mr Reagan left the White House in January 1989, shortly before the collapse of communism.
Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also spoke at the unveiling, and said the collapse of the Soviet Union should give encouragement to those seeking greater freedom today in the Middle East and north Africa.
"When we think of how impossible that might have seemed it gives us hope and optimism to face other situations that seem today impossible," she told the audience.
"It gives us hope and optimism to continue to stand for those who are still trapped in tyranny.
"It gives us optimism and will to stand with those who profess faith in our values, who have the courage to act on them and whose irrepressible spirit is playing out throughout the Middle East and beyond."
Lord Howe, who was foreign secretary under Lady Thatcher, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that Mr Reagan was "a formidable leader" who did play a crucial part in ending the Cold War.
"Margaret Thatcher saw his potential in that respect as soon as he was elected," he said.
"She said that his election was a watershed in world politics and she saw it as her duty to do all she could to reinforce his bold strategy."
Lord Howe added: "Many people did underestimate him, but he was, in fact, a man of authority, warmth, determination.
"The Reagan doctrine was what he annunciated - that the West would not abandon those countries which had communism forced upon them - so he made a decisive impact on the world in which we live."
Mr Reagan died in 2004, aged 93, after suffering from Alzheimer's disease for many years.
Peter Dow of Rice for President Yahoo Group comments -
A great treat for Condi's British fans to see her speaking live on the BBC News Channel once again. We've missed you Condi!
The English-speaking world needs Condi on English language news TV 24/7 but instead we see much more of the UK royal family who are of no use whatsoever to the world and indeed are a source of many of the world's problems.
Britain would be better as republics for the nations but if we had to be a kingdom, there is only one monarch for me.
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