Today, Senator Janet Nguyen joined dignitaries and colleagues in dedicating a new statue at the State Capitol honoring former California Governor and U.S. President Ronald Reagan. Joining Senator Nguyen and numerous other special guests attending the special ceremony, were two former United States Cabinet Secretaries, Secretary of State George Shultz, and Secretary of Energy John Herrington.
“It was truly an honor to attend the unveiling of the President Reagan statue and to listen to the kind words of Secretary Herrington and Secretary Shultz as they remembered their unforgettable experiences with the former Governor of the great state of California,” said Senator Janet Nguyen.
The statue of Ronald Reagan will be housed in the lower rotunda of the State Capitol. The statue was created by Auburn sculptor Douglas Van Howd, who was a longtime friend of President Reagan and served as the White House artist during President Reagan’s first term.
Former First Lady Nancy Reagan sent her thoughts on the statue saying, “I am thrilled that my husband’s statue will stand in such a prominent place, welcoming all who visit the State Capitol.”
Assembly Bill 2358, authored by former Republican Assemblymembers Curt Hagman and Martin Garrick, authorized the creation of a memorial statue of Ronald Reagan to be placed at the State Capitol. Construction of the statue was funded completely through private donations.
“I extend my thanks to former Assemblymembers Hagman and Garrick for their dedicated efforts which allowed for the statue to be constructed. I also want to thank my colleagues at the Legislature for after bipartisan approval of this bill. This statue is a true symbol of President Reagan’s leadership and legacy and I am proud that the legislature came together to give President Reagan the honor he deserves."
Below is the full text of the public letter from former First Lady Nancy Reagan, as read by Douglas Elmets, Chairman of the Ronald Reagan Centennial Capitol Foundation:
I’m very pleased to send my warmest wishes as you gather today in Sacramento to honor my husband with the unveiling of his statue in the State Capitol. I am especially pleased that my dear friend, George Shultz, is with you to mark this wonderful occasion.
When we moved to Sacramento in 1966, my husband and I knew our lives were about to change, but we had no idea just how much. My husband wanted what was best for the state, and its citizens. He knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but he was determined to work hard, and do whatever it took, even if his plans and policies weren’t the most popular. When he left the Governor’s office he was so very proud of what had been accomplished.
Yes, we worked hard during our years in Sacramento, but it was also our home, and we truly enjoyed it. We raised our family, made life-long friends and became part of the community. It was a wonderful time for us, one which I will never forget.
I am thrilled that my husband’s state will stand in such a prominent place, welcoming all who visit the State Capitol. I know he is with you today in spirit, and he would join me in thanking you for honoring him in this very special way.