Jun 7, 2022

First Lady Jill Biden Hosts the Unveiling of a New U.S. Postal Service Stamp 6/06/22 Transcript

First Lady Jill Biden Hosts the Unveiling of a New U.S. Postal Service Stamp 6/06/22 Transcript
RevBlogTranscriptsJill BidenFirst Lady Jill Biden Hosts the Unveiling of a New U.S. Postal Service Stamp 6/06/22 Transcript

First Lady Jill Biden Hosts the Unveiling of a New U.S. Postal Service Stamp Honoring Former First Lady Nancy Reagan. Read the transcript here.

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Louis DeJoy: (00:00)
Thank you, Dr. Jill Biden, First Lady of the United States for hosting us here today. It is a tremendous honor to be here with all of you. I have the privilege of announcing the United States Postal Service will issue a first class mail forever postage stamp commemorating the life of First Lady Nancy Reagan. Through our stamp program, the postal service seeks to commemorate and celebrate the very best of America, and Nancy Reagan truly represents that ideal. Mrs. Reagan will be the sixth the First Lady honored with a U.S. postage stamp. The previous stamps were issued for Martha Washington, the first American woman ever featured on a postage stamp; Dolly Madison, Abigail Adams, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Lady bird Johnson. Nancy Reagan was an inspiring individual.

Louis DeJoy: (00:56)
She was an important part of one of the most pivotal presidencies of the 20th century as a wife champion and trusted advisor to our 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan. In addition, her legacy of public service and her willingness to confront difficult and often highly personal topics throughout her eventful life made her one of the most influential and admired first ladies in modern times to recognize her many contributions to our nation, we will officially issue the Nancy Reagan Commemorative Forever Postage Stamp on July 6th. The dedication ceremony will be held at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California.

Louis DeJoy: (01:39)
Postal service takes great pride in our mission to bind the nation. Together through the issuance of the Nancy Reagan stamp, we hope to provide the means for the public to come together in remembrance and commemoration of this great and impactful American. I, along with 650,000 women and men of the United States Postal Service, am proud to honor First Lady Nancy Reagan with this stamp. Thank you. Now, we’d like our participants to join us. Now, it is now my pleasure to introduce Fred Ryan, chairman of the board of trustees of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute. Fred served as an assistant to president Reagan at the White House and as Chief of Staff for former President Ronald Reagan from 1989 to 1995. Please welcome Fred Ryan.

Fred Ryan: (02:59)
Thank you, Postmaster, Dr. Biden, and I have the feeling someone’s looking over my shoulder and it wouldn’t be the first time. It’s a pleasure to be able to join you this morning to pay tribute to a remarkable woman and a truly great American. 38 years ago today on windswept cliff in Normandy, France, President Reagan delivered one of his best- known speeches, commemorating the 40th anniversary of the allied liberation. What inspired the great courage of D-Day, he explained in his remarks, was a set of four virtues, faith belief, loyalty, and love. Those were also the virtues that inspired the woman who stood by his side that day and who we honor on this day, Nancy Reagan. These qualities made Nancy Reagan an extraordinary First Lady, a role she helped to redefine. She brought to the position her warmth, wit and sense of style. She developed a quiet ability to work behind-the-scenes to get things done in Washington, no small feet.

Fred Ryan: (04:07)
While her husband was busy at work rebuilding America’s economy, strengthening our defenses and promoting freedom around the world, Mrs. Reagan was a crucial confidant and essential partner. At all times, she exhibited complete unwavering devotion to Ronald Reagan as her husband and as the 40th President of the United States. It’s no exaggeration to say there would not have been a successful Ronald Reagan were it not for Nancy Reagan. The president himself said of Nancy, “I can’t imagine life without her.” At the same time, Nancy worked hard to advance her own important initiatives. She was an advocate for foster grandparents and a champion of the arts. She poured herself into restoring and remodeling the White House, enhancing its elegance and beauty. At a time when elected officials had not only worked in relationships, but true friendships across the aisle Democratic Speaker Tip O’Neill praised her efforts on a visit to the executive residents saying, “The White House has never looked better.” Nancy Reagan cared deeply about the health and well-being of her fellow Americans. Perhaps her best known initiative was leading America’s campaign against drug abuse.

Fred Ryan: (05:21)
It’s a bit ironic that the woman who would never take no for an answer asked an entire nation to Just Say No. While still serving as First Lady, Mrs. Reagan received a frightening diagnosis, breast cancer. Through her own personal trial, including her public decision to undergo a radical mastectomy, she devoted herself to raising greater awareness of breast cancer and inspired generations of women in their own battles against the disease. After the White House, when her husband was struck with Alzheimer’s disease, hers was the strongest voice in support of life-saving support. Even decades after the Reagan administration ended, she continued to leave her mark on our nation. In every subsequent administration, historians have tried to identify who performs the quote, “Nancy function,” the person close to the president concerned only with his well-being and success.

Fred Ryan: (06:18)
Today through the Reagan Foundation, of which Nancy Reagan was the foremost champion, people from across the country and around the world continue to learn about the enduring values and timeless principles that her husband stood for. She was also the driving force behind the Reagan Institute, whose doors will officially open across Lafayette Park tomorrow. Those of us who were fortunate to know Nancy Reagan know just how much it would mean to her to receive the special honor of being memorialized on an American postage stamp. She would’ve loved this depiction based on her favorite portrait by the great American painter, Aaron Shikler. It’s also appropriate that this is a forever stamp. It will endure and appreciate over time just like Nancy Reagan’s contributions to our country. It is now my pleasure to introduce Nancy Reagan’s favorite niece, Anne Peterson.

Anne Peterson: (07:21)
Thank you, Fred, and thank you so much to the First Lady for including me in this special ceremony today. Being asked to the White House is always a true privilege and being here brings back so many memories for me. In May of 1981, I was working in Senator Hatfield’s office on The Hill and living in Georgetown with old family friends. My aunt was settling into her new role in Washington and trying to move beyond the near loss of her husband in late March. I was young, game for anything and I think as all nieces and nephews are, a good distraction. During my first week, she invited me over for dinner twice and asked me to accompany her on a trip to the Ingalls shipyard in Mississippi, to christen the USS Ticonderoga. Little did I know these outings would find their way to the metro section of The Post, and as such, there was no more hiding from my coworkers in Senator Hatfield’s office, who I was related to.

Anne Peterson: (08:25)
Five years later on Christmas night at the White House, my husband of 35 years asked me to marry him. Nancy, the hopeless romantic, could not have been happier that this occurred under her roof. Nancy Reagan brought grace and honor to her role. As the First Lady, she was fiercely loyal to her husband and her country always placing them first. Making the White House a home Americans and her husband could be proud of was a priority for her. She knew she was a guest in the nation’s house and as such, she treated it and the people who cared for it with the deepest respect and consideration. Her quiet strength, her genuine devotion to her husband and her commitment to helping and comforting others were just some of the reasons America loved her.

Anne Peterson: (09:21)
The celebration of her milestone birthday and this special honor today have brought many of us together again. The stories and memories all feel like yesterday. I wonder how it could possibly be 40 years since the Reagans arrived in Washington. Nancy Reagan treated us to a front row seat of American history, and for that, we are forever grateful. I know she is with us today, hand-in-hand with her beloved Ronnie, watching as we remember and celebrate her time as First Lady. Thrilled with the beautiful California-like weather and relieved she has no speaking role, pleased and humbled at the same time by this special honor, but also ready for the spotlight to be moved on to someone else. It’s now my privilege and pleasure to introduce the First Lady of the United States, Jill Biden.

Dr. Jill Biden: (10:23)
Thank you, Anne. We can all hear really how much you loved your aunt, and I know that she must be feeling so proud of you. Good morning and welcome to the White House and thank you to the U.S. Postal Service. Isn’t this stamp just beautiful? There really is nothing that can prepare you to be First Lady. To wake up here, steps from the Oval Office to sit in the Jackie Kennedy garden and watch the morning light just climb the monuments of our nation’s Capitol, First Ladies aren’t elected. We have really no instructions to guide us. We’re just thrust into the national spotlight in a way that I know none of us could have anticipated; yet, each day is such a blessing to serve the American people with such an incredible platform. First Lady Nancy Reagan serve the American people with grace.

Dr. Jill Biden: (11:56)
She understood that the role of First Lady came with inherent pitfalls and scrutiny; yet, she found the humanity in it all. She knew the potential of this role. She traveled the country, listening to American stories and just brought them home to her husband. She raised attention on issues that she cared about and she spoke bravely about her cancer as was mentioned and her mastectomy. Next month would have been Mrs. Reagan’s 101st birthday ending her Centennial year. With this stamp, we are affirming that she made such a difference. We can all change the world in big ways and small ones, and Mrs. Reagan remind us that we need both.

Dr. Jill Biden: (13:01)
It’s up to each of us to find small everyday ways we can bring our communities together. We never know what’s behind someone’s smile, how much they might need our kindness or our strength, so we must find our own ways to be a shoulder to lean on, be an ear to listen when someone feels alone. We have to learn from those we don’t understand, to reach across the divide and find common ground and ground, because that’s where the foundation of our future must be laid, and we all have a role to play. The more kindness we give, the more is reflected back on us. When we listen, learn, and lift up those around us who are struggling, we draw closer to each other and to a community where everyone has the opportunities they need to thrive. Despite our differences, we can build a better world when we do it together, so thank you for joining us today. May God bless you, our military families, and thank you for being here today. Thank you.

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