Outpouring of responses to Reagan's passing
Crowds file past Reagan's casket in California.
Reagan and Pope John Paul II shared battles.
Mikhail Gorbachev and Reagan: Cold War foes who came together.
|REAGAN'S LIFE AND TIMES|
Birth: February 6, 1911, in Tampico, Illinois
Married: Jane Wyman 1940-1948, Nancy Davis in 1952
Education: Graduates from Eureka College, Illinois, in 1932
1932-1966: Sports announcer, motion picture and TV actor
1947-1952: President of Screen Actors Guild
1962: Campaigns for Richard Nixon, GOP gubernatorial candidate in California
1967-1974: Governor of California
1976: Loses Republican primary to Gerald Ford
1980: Defeats Jimmy Carter to become 40th U.S. president
March 30, 1981: Assassination attempt
January 11, 1989: Farewell address to the nation
1994: Announces he has Alzheimer's disease
May 16, 2002: Ronald and Nancy Reagan receive Congressional
(CNN) -- CNN.com asked its users to reflect on the death of Ronald Reagan and share their memories of the former president.
Thousands of e-mails were received from around the world. Following is a sampling of responses, some of which have been edited. Send in your thoughts.
Tomas Szalay from Bratislava, Slovakia:
Thank you, Ronald. Without you I'd still live behind the Iron Curtain. I couldn't travel. I couldn't speak [freely in] public. I couldn't even send this message via Internet.
John from Jacksonville, Florida:
No one can doubt his contribution to the demise of the Soviet empire. Nevertheless, it must also be noted that it was Ronald Reagan who led the charge in the rejection of America's admission of systemic racial inequity and ushered into the social fabric of our nation a mind-set of racial insensitivity, which affects us to this day.
Heidi from New York, New York:
I consider myself a liberal New Yorker. But I felt a sadness when I heard that Reagan had passed. I remember my days at elementary school when we had to "play" vote for the next president, and I voted for him ... as did most of my school. Some may have disagreed with his policies ..., but I respected him for the work he did in the Cold War. God bless him.
Steve Lorenzo from Sunnyside, New York:
Nearly 100,000 Americans died of AIDS during the Reagan administration. Despite the death of his friend Rock Hudson from the disease in 1985, Ronald Reagan did not even mention the word AIDS in a policy address until 1987. His capitulation to the religious right, who believed AIDS was God's punishment for gays, prevented crucial research into prevention and treatment during these critical early years of the epidemic. Nearly 30 million people worldwide have since died of the disease; this horrific statistic must not be forgotten when speaking of Ronald Reagan's legacy.
Kristian Hasager from Hinnerup, Denmark:
Mount Rushmore. My only question is when?
Jane Dusseau from Scottsdale, Arizona:
Enough. Soldiers are dying in Iraq, reporters and cameramen in Saudi Arabia. There are other more important stories. Please, no more 24 hours of Ronald Reagan. [You're] overdoing it, as usual. ... Give us the news of the nation and the world.
William Moss from Lake Elsinore, California:
The long good-bye has finally come to the Reagan family and America. I too have a loved one who [has] the same illness, and [I] know the pain Nancy and her family have undergone.
Steve Oakes from Seogwipo City, South Korea:
He was the best president I have ever known. I had a sense of pride in my country for the first time. He was [a] statesman and a great moral figure for our country, kind of like a father. I wish he was president now with our country and world in such chaos.
Randy Alewine from Olathe, Kansas:
He was our president at a time when our country seemed a little lost and needed direction. He showed us it was OK to be an American and take pride in who we are.
Stefano Lombardi from Rome, Italy:
I remember that when Mr. Reagan was elected, here in Europe some of us thought that only in the U.S. an actor could become a president. But with time we learned to respect the man and the president. Mr. Reagan was a man of high integrity, untouched honesty and disarming charm. My deepest sympathy to Mrs. Reagan.
Michael Donovan-Roughsedge from Tunbridge Wells, England:
Enough already about this B-list actor ... who allowed his wife's astrologer to dictate the timings of diplomatic meetings and who lied to Congress. Yes, he was the most charming president ever, but oh dear, there was another side to him. CNN, for the sake of history, should not pander to its audience's sentimentality and should have the courage to tell the truth and not the myth.
Aamir Raees from Fremont, California:
Men are born every day, but great men are seldom born. President Reagan was that great man who taught the American people and the world greatness and integrity through his actions as a human being and leadership as a president. My thoughts and prayers for the family and the American people because truly we all lost a great son of America.
Lynn Roberts from Ponce, Puerto Rico:
I believe that it is inappropriate and disrespectful to be voting on whether or not to put President Reagan on the $10 bill during the week that the country is mourning his death. This discussion can wait.
D. Kimball from Dhahran, Saudi Arabia:
"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." This is [Reagan's] and the U.S.A.'s greatest moment, and he should be remembered as such. Job well done.
Brian from New Orleans, Louisiana:
Reaganomics, no AIDS funding, left behind poor, tremendous wealth gaps, failed education policies. ... What's all the hype about?
Mary Ennis from Woodridge, Illinois:
Ronald Reagan, with his strong values and sense of humor, pulled a frightened and economically troubled country back together. It was obvious that he genuinely liked people and was as concerned for the welfare of the "average Joe" as he was for corporate executives. He helped open the door for freedom and democracy in Eastern Europe from communism. I truly believe that history will show him to be among the great presidents of the 20th century.
Curt from Ocean City, New Jersey:
I do not consider President Reagan to be a great president. During his tenure, the so-called Christian Coalition, the National Rifle Association and other socially conservative/political organizations gained much more attention than the needy and poor in this country. Also, it is obvious from the Iran-Contra scandal that this president was not much different from [one of] his predecessors (Nixon) and his successors, Presidents Bush and Bush. If this is what Americans consider a great leader, then heaven help the U.S.A.
Sheila Hammer from Atlanta, Georgia:
I was in junior high and high school when Mr. Reagan was president and even at that age -- when we thought "no one was right" -- he had a way about him to make you feel secure and safe in our country. He will be missed greatly.
Bryan Hendrix from Lexington, Kentucky:
President Reagan will be remembered as one of the finest presidents our country has ever had. I was 10 years old when he took office as president. He was the first president that I followed as a young man. He had a special way of coming across that even young people could connect to. I feel he ended the Cold War and gave America a new leg to stand on.
Mark W. from Durham, North Carolina:
Ronald Reagan was a horrible president. Among his legacies are "voodoo" economics, the multitrillion dollar boondoggle of SDI [Strategic Defense Initiative], the Iran-Contra scandal and the rise to power of both Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. ... Let's not rewrite history just because he died.
Gerardo A. Rigonan from Kidapawan City, Philippines:
Ronald Reagan [was] the president of the United States during my youth. I am from the Philippines, where actors/actresses routinely run for public office. Unlike them, Reagan [was] qualified to run. He defended democracy and won the Cold War. For this, we should be eternally grateful.
Helen Klingerman from Bear, Delaware:
I was saddened to hear of the passing of President Reagan. But I am also relieved to know his ordeal is over and he is in a better place. Not only was he a good president but [he was] even a better human being. He truly loved our country, and our country truly respected him.
Svenn Gudfinnsson from Reykjavik, Iceland:
Mr. Reagan was a big leader in the meeting with [Mikhail] Gorbachev in [the Hofdi [House in] Reykjavik. ... We will miss his smile. God bless his family. And god bless America.