SPRINGFIELD – As the nation prepares to mourn the death of Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich issued a proclamation today ordering all state facilities to fly flags at half-mast. The proclamation instructs Illinois state offices to fly flags at half-mast starting on June 5, 2004 throughout July 3, 2004, and return flags to full-mast on the morning of July 4, 2004.
“Ronald Reagan loved the American people, and they loved him back. He was a man of strong convictions, and no one communicated them better. His strong stance for freedom helped lead to the collapse of communism and the growth of democracy across the world. But perhaps his greatest accomplishment was that he helped restore to the American people their belief in the American dream,” said Governor Blagojevich.
The Governor’s proclamation states:
WHEREAS, Ronald Wilson Reagan was born on February 6, 1911 in Tampico, Illinois. He attended high school in Dixon, Illinois and went on to earn a degree in economics and sociology from Eureka College, where he also played on the football team and acted in theatre productions; and
WHEREAS, Reagan began his career as a radio sports announcer. In 1937, a screen test won him a contract in Hollywood, and over the next two decades, he would act in 53 feature films; and
WHEREAS, Reagan’s success as an actor, coupled with his strong leadership abilities, earned him the opportunity to serve as President of the Screen Actors Guild. It was in that role that Reagan crafted his political platform; and
WHEREAS, Reagan was elected Governor of California in 1966 by a one million vote margin. He was re-elected to serve a second term in 1970; and
WHEREAS, in 1980, Reagan won the Republican Presidential nomination, and in November of that year, he would go on to defeat President Jimmy Carter in the General Election to earn the presidency; and
WHEREAS, on January 20, 1981, Reagan was sworn in as the 40th President of the United States, and was re-elected to a second term in 1984. Among his many accomplishments in office, President Reagan obtained legislation to stimulate economic growth, curb inflation, increase employment, and strengthen national defense. He also made foreign policy a top priority, and sought to achieve “peace through strength,” improving relations with the Soviet Union by conducting several meetings with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, and eventually negotiating a treaty that would eliminate intermediate range nuclear missiles; and
WHEREAS, President Reagan’s great charisma and people skills earned him the title of “The Great Communicator;” and
WHEREAS, in November of 1994, Reagan publicly announced that he had Alzheimer’s disease. Almost ten years later, on June 5, 2004, he passed away at the age of 93; and
WHEREAS, President Reagan is remembered as a strong and confident leader, and a president who revitalized this country’s stagnant economy. He leaves behind a legacy that will clearly resonate in this country and throughout the world for centuries to come; and
WHEREAS, for a period of 30 days, from June 5, 2004 until July 3, 2004, the State of Illinois will fly flags at half-mast to honor a great man and a “native son” of Illinois:
THEREFORE, I, Rod Blagojevich, Governor of the State of Illinois, do hereby proclaim June 5, 2004 – July 3, 2004 as DAYS TO COMMEMORATE THE HONORABLE RONALD WILSON REAGAN in Illinois, and order all state facilities to fly flags at half-mast throughout the duration of these 30 days, and re-raise the flags to full-mast on the morning of July 4, 2004.