Ronald Reagan Statue Unveiled in Britain on Independence Day

8:47 AM PST 07/04/2011 by Aaron Couch
Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images

Margaret Thatcher says Reagan “brought millions of people to freedom.”

A statue commemorating the 100th birthday of President Ronald Reagan was unveiled in London, coinciding with Independence Day celebrations in America.

Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former British Foreign Secretary William Hague were on hand to sing the praises of the Hollywood actor turned leader of the free world, reports The Independent.

"Statues bring us to face to face with our heroes long after they are gone,” said Hague. He noted that the Reagan statue would join likenesses of Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt in the city.

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Neither former First Lady Nancy Reagan, nor former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher attended the ceremony. Rice was there in place of Mrs. Reagan, and Hague conveyed a message on behalf of Thatcher, Reagan's close ally:

“Ronald Reagan was a great president and a great man - a true leader for our times. He held clear principles and acted upon them with purpose.

"Through his strength and his conviction he brought millions of people to freedom as the Iron Curtain finally came down.

"It was a pleasure to be his colleague and his friend, and I hope that this statue will be a reminder to future generations of the debt we owe him."

Last month, an aide revealed that Thatcher, 85, has been troubled by recent health problems, when he rebuffed an overture by Sarah Palin to meet with the former prime minister.

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Reagan was born on February 6, 1911, and died in 2004 after battling Alzheimer’s Disease. Before becoming governor of California and later president of the United States, Reagan took on dozens of rolls in film and television, and served as spokesman for General Electric.

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