Northern Kentucky Mourns the Great Communicator

A short drive along Dixie Highway is a quick reminder that our nation mourns the loss of one of its most beloved leaders. The many flags at half-staff take Northern Kentuckians back to the Cold War era, as we remember the legacy of Ronald Wilson Reagan.

On Friday, a national day of mourning, the 40th president of the United States will be memorialized in a state funeral service at the National Cathedral. It will be the first presidential funeral in Washington in more than 30 years, since Lyndon Johnson died in 1973. Reagan will be buried in his home state of California, on the grounds of his presidential library. It will be his final trip across the country he so loved and so profoundly changed.

Northern Kentucky was no exception.

U.S. Senator Jim Bunning (RSouthgate)

"I never would have run for Congress if it wasn't for Reagan. He always had a wit and a smile and no matter how hard you may have disliked him politically, you liked him personally."

Congressional Candidate Geoff Davis (RHebron)

"He laid out a bold vision for leadership in the world and we saw that vision fulfilled with the tearing down of the Berlin wall, collapse of the Soviet Union and essentially the victory of the Cold War"

Congressional Candidate Nick Clooney (DAugusta)

"He showed uncommon courage in his pursuit of the highest office in the land and he was there to preside over the beginning of the end of the Cold War.

"But at no time, perhaps, did he exhibit more courage than in his last battle against the cruelest enemy of all, Alzheimer's disease. He had to go into that unknown place alone, but he did not flinch."

Greg Schumate, Kenton County Republican Chairman

"I think Ronald Reagan would have been a great football coach. He was great at rallying the troops and he could convince the people that yes, we could do this and we did do it."

Butch Callery, Mayor of Covington

"He was great at getting the word out to the country and as a mayor that's a job you have to do and you have to get the public to trust what you're doing and that's what Reagan did… When a president dies it's always sad regardless of if they're Republican or Democrat."

Diane Whalen, Mayor of Florence

"My grandmother said that Ronald Reagan was the greatest President. She told me that I should follow his example and I always tried to do what my grandmother told me to do."

State Sen. Jack Westwood (RCrescent Springs)

"The passing of President Ronald Reagan has left us all with an emptiness that is impossible to fill…Under his leadership he gave Americans a reason to hope for a better future."

State Sen. Damon Thayer (RGeorgetown)

"I always knew I was a Republican. It wasn't until the Reagan ‘80s that I knew why I was a Republican… If I can in just some small way in my political career push forward the Reagan ideology, I'll consider my time well spent."

State Sen. Dick Roeding (RLakeside Park)

"He had an allegiance to family and a moral standard he never crossed, it's that moral compass this country was founded on and I try and take that allegiance to family down to Kentucky."

Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher (R)

"Ronald Reagan changed the course of American History. His bold initiatives and progressive leadership during times of difficulty and great triumph charted a course of economic stability at home while restoring respect to our nation abroad. President Reagan will long be remembered for his courage and statesmanship as one of the greatest Presidents in our nation's history."

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (RLouisville)

"Ronald Reagan was one of the two most consequential presidents of the 20th Century, the other being Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the most important conservative president in history."

"He made conservatism a popular term and by demonstrating that the policies of conservatism work, he had a lasting impact not only on his own party, the Republican Party but on the entire country."

Kristos Zagorianos 31, Cincinnati

"I grew up with Reagan. I was in first grade when he was elected. I was too young to know it then, but now I see he was probably one of the best Presidents we've had."

April Reece, 45, Grant County

"He was a good man and did a good job for this country. He kept us out of a recession and gas prices weren't two dollars a gallon when he was in office."

Gary Bizaillon, 52, Western Hills, Ohio

"I have a nephew who has been to Iraq and a son who might go. I know Reagan would have made them proud to be Americans."

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