July 4 - Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan is honoured with the unveiling of a statue in London to mark 100 years since his birth. Simon Hanna reports.
Ronald Reagan is commemorated with a statue in London to mark 100 years since his birth in February 1911. The 10ft bronze statue of the former U.S. president was unveiled after a ceremony involving politicians from both the U.S. and Britain. The statue is part of a year of celebrations in honour of Reagan's life. Former US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice led the tributes. (SOUNDBITE) (English) VARIOUS OF FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE CONDOLEEZA RICE, SAYING: "And so, this statue of Ronald Reagan is quite clearly a memorial and a commemoration of a glorious past. But more importantly, it is a call to an even more glorious future." British Foreign Secretary William Hague was also full of praise for the former President, highlighting his close ties with London. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UK FOREIGN SECRETARY WILLIAM HAGUE, SAYING: "It celebrates the life of an exceptional and gifted American president. It is a fitting tribute to one of the truest friends that Britain has ever had. And it will be a source of inspiration and encouragement to all of us who live in a more peaceful and prosperous world today because President Reagan, Britain, and our allies stood firm." For two presidential terms, Regan increased national defence programs and pursued a hard-line policy against the Soviet Union - publically urging them to tear down the Berlin Wall in 1987. He also forged a close relationship with then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, whose ill health prevented her from attending Monday's ceremony. Reagan died in 2004 at the age of 93, having served as US president between 1981 and 1989. Simon Hanna, Reuters