Remarks Upon Returning From the Soviet-United States
The Vice President. Mr. President and Mrs.
Reagan, I'm delighted to say on behalf of the people of the
On arms control, Mrs. Thatcher probably put it best when she said that you have bravely gone forward in spite of the voices of denial and doubt. You showed the only way to succeed is by retaining your resolve and speaking with conviction. As for the latter, I suspect you know, Mr. President, that you caught a little flack for bringing up the issue of human rights so forcefully right there in the heart of the Soviet system. But most Americans felt as I did: We have a tradition of freedom and a history of free speech, and what's wrong with telling the other guy how you feel?
fact is you made us proud. This week an American President strode the hard
The President. Well, thank you all
very much. As some of you may have heard, Mr. Gorbachev and I've been trading
Russian proverbs this week. [Laughter] But you know, flying back across the
We want to thank all of you for coming out today. We're grateful for your enthusiasm and for the warmth of your welcome. And take it from me, all this red, white, and blue scenery hits these two weary travelers right where we live. If I might paraphrase George M. Cohan: Some may call it a flag-waving, but right now I can't think of a better flag to wave.
a little tired, but we're exhilarated at what has happened -- exhilarated, too,
at the thought of the future and what may lie ahead for the young people of
America and all of the world. The events of this week in
You know, it's occurred to me that time does have a way of sorting things out. For many years now, Americans have seen the danger of war and pleaded the cause of peace. And other Americans have seen the danger of totalitarianism and pleaded the cause of freedom. So, I was just thinking, why don't we just agree today on something that maybe we should have been saying to each other all along: that we're all Americans and that we all have one and the same burning cause in our hearts -- the cause of world peace and the cause of world freedom.
and freedom are what this trip was about, and we saw some real progress in
several areas in
there's something else I want to tell you about. I wish you could've seen the
faces we saw in the
is happening in the
That faith in freedom, that abiding belief in what the unfettered human spirit can accomplish, defines us as a people and a nation. And you know, I've been told that even a few veteran journalists said a chill went through them this week at a sight they never thought they would see in their lifetime: an American President there in the heart of Moscow talking about economic, political, and individual freedoms to the future leaders of the Soviet Union; explaining that freedom makes a difference, and explaining how freedom works; talking, too, about the possibility of a new age of prosperity and peace, where old antagonisms between nations can someday be put behind us, a new age that can be ours if only we'll reach out to it.
and gentlemen, all across our country during these weeks of spring it's graduation time. And I hope our young graduates know
what a sudden, startling future may now be before them, a future brought about
by a technological and information revolution based on a growing understanding
of the nexus between economic growth and creative freedom. But I hope, too,
that young Americans -- and all Americans -- will always remember that this
revolution is only the continuation of a revolution begun two centuries ago, a
revolution of hope, a hope that someday a new land might become a place where
freedom's light would beacon forth. That faith in freedom, that belief in the
unalienable rights of man begun in Carpenters Hall in
was the selflessness of so many Americans that brought it there, selflessness
by Americans for over two centuries, but especially by those Americans who
fought what has truly been called the twilight struggle of the postwar years, a
struggle where national interest was not always clearly defined or adversaries
easily identified or sacrifice fully appreciated. Now, more than ever, we must
continue. The judgment of future generations will be harsh upon us if, after so
much sacrifice and now at the hour of hope, we falter or fail. Let us resolve
to continue, one nation, one people, united in our love of peace and freedom,
determined to keep our defenses strong, to stand with those who struggle for
freedom across the world, to keep
let us remember, too, that there's work remaining here at home, that whatever
the accomplishments of
And yet if patriotism is not the only thing, it is one of the best things. And we can be grateful to God that we have seen such a rebirth of it here in this country. And you know, it's true, frequently when such moments happen in a nation's history, there's a popular saying or song that speaks for that time. And just maybe this verse sounds familiar to you: ``If tomorrow, all things were gone I'd worked for all my life, and I had to start again with just my children and my wife, I'd thank my lucky stars to be living here today 'cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can't take that away.''
and I have full hearts today. We're grateful to all of you and to the American
people, grateful for the chance to serve, grateful for all the support and
warmth that you've given us over the years. And you know what else? We think
our friend Lee Greenwood has it just right, ``All our days, and especially
today, there ain't no doubt we love this land. God
Note: The President spoke at in Hangar 3 at Andrews Air Force Base, MD.