President Reagan speaking beyond the grave

President Reagan speaking beyond the grave par President Reagan

At the request of some of our English readers, we are publishing the original English version of the last speech of the late President Reagan which already appeared in previous editions of the Haiti-Observateur in its French version. We’ll note that the two-term Chief of State (1981-1989), the 40th President of the United States, died June 5, 2004. But his eloquent and futuristic message is applicable today while the country he said he loves is undergoing an up heaval in relation to immigrants, those people that he said help “renew and enrich our nation”. He prophesied: “If we ever closed the door to new Americans, our leadership in the world would soon be lost.” Read below the full transcription of President Reagan’s message:

“Since this is the last speech that I will give as president, I think it’s fitting to leave one final thought, an observation about a country which I love. It was stated best in a letter I received not long ago. A man wrote me and said: ‘You can go live in France, but you can’t be a Frenchman. You can go to live in Germany, Turkey or Japan, but you cannot be a German, or Turk, or Japanese. But anyone from any corner of the earth can come to live in America, and become an American.’

“Yes, the torch of Lady Liberty symbolizes our freedom and represents our heritage, that com pact with our parents and grandparents and our ancestors. It is that Lady who gives us our great and special place in the world. For, it’s the great life force of each generation of new Americans that guarantees that America’s triumph shall continue unsurpassed into the next century and beyond.

“Other countries may seek to compete with us; but in one vital area, as a beacon of freedom and opportunity that draws the people of the world, no country on earth comes close. This, I believe, is one of the most important sources of America’s greatness. We lead the world because, unique among nations, we draw our people, our strength, from every country and every corner of the world. And by doing so, we continuously renew and enrich our nation.

“While other countries cling to the stale past, here in America, we breathe life into dreams, we create the future, and the world follows us into tomorrow! Thanks to each wave of new arrivals to this land of opportunity, we’re a nation forever young, forever bursting with energy and new ideas, and always on the cutting edge, always leading the world to the next frontier.  This quality is vital to our future as a nation.  If we ever closed the door to new Americans, our leadership in the world would soon be lost.

“A number of years ago, an American student traveling in Europe took an East German ship across the Baltic Sea. One of the ship’s crewmembers from East Germany, a man in his 60s, struck up a conversation with the American student. After a while, the student asked the man how he had learned such good English. And the man explained that he once lived in America. He said that for over a year he had worked as a farmer in Oklahoma and California, that he planted tomatoes and picked ripe melons. It was, the man said, the happiest time of his life.

“Well, the student who had seen the awful conditions behind the Iron Curtain, blurted out the question, ‘Well, why did you ever leave?’ ‘I had to,’ he said, ‘the war ended.’ The man had been in America as a German prisoner of war.

“Now, I don’t tell this story to make the case for former POWs. Instead, I tell this story just to remind you of the magical intoxicating power of America. We may sometimes, forget it, but others do not. Even a man from a country at war with the United States, while held here as a prisoner, could fall in love with us.

“Those who become American citizens love this country even more. And that’s why the Statue of Liberty lifts her lamp to welcome them to the golden door. It is bold men and women, yearning for freedom and opportunity, who leave their homelands and come to a new country to start their lives over. They believe in the American dream. And over and over, they make it come true for themselves, for their children, for others. They give more than they receive. They labor and succeed, and often they are entrepreneurs.

“But their greatest contribution is more than economic, because they understand in a special way how glorious it is to be an American. They renew our pride and gratitude in the United States of America, the greatest, freest nation in the world, the last best hope of man on Earth!”

cet article est publié par l’hebdomadaire Haïti-Observateur, édition du 30 janvier 2019 et se trouve en P. 13 à :