Centenial Speech

by, Founder Perry Peters

What Will Tomorrow Be Like?


Remember when President Reagan died? His death brought a spontaneous outpouring of affection from millions of Americans. In Washington, D.C., and later, at the Reagan Presidential Library, there were endless lines of people filing by his casket to pay silent tribute -- after he’d been out of office 16 years! It was a phenomenon unprecedented in our history!


Those who would downplay the impact he made on our hearts and minds, please explain that!


Today, the whole world appears to be unraveling. We long for another Reagan, but we can’t wait for someone else. We need to put into action the principles he taught, and use our God-given free will to change the face of our community and begin to change the world.


We have had many great leaders, from Washington and Jefferson, to Kennedy and Reagan. We need to be better students of history and apply their experience to make us once again the beacon of hope for a free world.


We have largely ignored Thomas Jefferson’s warning: Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom. We have not  been vigilant. We have ignored Reagan. We have not remained strong, so we do not have Peace Through Strength. We have failed to instill the Can-Do spirit in our young people, and convince them that by exerting personal initiative, they can accomplish things beyond their wildest dreams.


We consistently vote for people, Republicans and Democrats, who want to do more for us, so instead of giving needy neighbors assistance out of love, we give the responsibility to government as entitlements. Government gladly steps in. It taxes us, takes a generous cut, and gives back a fraction of what we paid for – and we accept these political favors. This happens over and over again. 


Pull back the curtain from the wizard of Oz and presto! we have a multi-trillion dollar debt!


Our young people learn from what we do, not what we say. Instead of looking for additional things the government can do for us, we need to start finding a way to do more for ourselves. 


We can start by asking the right question. It’s not, “I wonder if I can do this?”  It’s too easy to say,“No!” Let’s ask, “How can I do this?”  Only then will we keep looking until we find the answer.


Make no mistake. Individual initiative made our country great. With it, our forefathers created a very special nation. With it, our neighbors gave this community Ronald Reagan Sports Park. When we stop exercising our initiative, we begin losing our independence. Without independence, we cannot protect our freedom. Other nations are beginning to learn that.


In Reagan’s own words: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.  It has to be fought for and defended by each generation.”   He wasn’t just talking about our military – vital as that is --  he was talking about us, here at home.


What will tomorrow be like? The future is in our hands. Will we demand higher salaries for less work, more services for what we can do ourselves? Will we continue to turn a blind eye to the restrictions we have imposed on our daily lives? Will inertia doom us, or will we wake up to the challenges?


Each of us in this room loves Reagan and what he stands for. We can start chipping away at the shackles we created for ourselves.  One small way is by supporting the projects of Friends of Ronald Reagan Sports Park. At your table is a short list of ways you can help today!


The Can-Do Monument we are building at Ronald Reagan Sports Park is just one example of what initiative can do. For your information, our organization has no paid employees, and we do not accept tax funds as donations. 


The Veterans Memorial Monument at the Duck Pond, commissioned by the City of Temecula, is an inspiring reminder of the sacrifices our military make every day for us, but it cost almost $500,000 for one statue and a series of soldiers’ letters home.


Our monument, by the same sculptor, features a statue of Ronald Reagan, and four others: of a husband and wife, son and daughter, at work creating the park. You can see the design at the back of the room before you leave. Our monument will cost just $300,000 because we are raising the money privately, and without  bureaucratic red tape.  We’ve raised almost $100,000 so far.


If you wish to truly honor the spirit of Ronald Reagan and promote what he still stands for, you can help shape what tomorrow will be like.  It is not enough to name a park after him. We must utilize the Reagan principle of self-reliance, and experience the same frustration, hard work, personal commitment and disciplined persistence that, over a period of years, enabled the folks in this area to create a sports park without government funds.


Happy 100th Birthday, Mr. President!  And thank you, ladies and gentlemen!