In order to honor President’s Day, I thought I would share five of my favorite presidential moments. I’ll present them in historical, rather than “top” or favorite, order.

Abraham Lincoln: “Gettysburg Address”

Like many conservatives, I have serious reservations about much that Lincoln did, but this speech is a winner from beginning to end.

“Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us–that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion–that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”

JFK: Inaugural Address, “Ask Not . . . “

Listening to JFK ask Americans to ask not what their country can do for them but what they can do for their country is a vivid reminder of just how far Democrats have fallen.

Ronald Reagan: Berlin Speech, “Tear Down This Wall”

Was there ever a president who was a greater defender of freedom and American values and foe of communism than President Reagan?  Not in my book.

Bill Clinton: 1996 SOTU, “The Era of Big Government is Over”

No fan of the Clintons, I do love this moment because it was exactly what America and Americans demanded (and still demand). This was back when Washington listened, at least occasionally, to those they were elected to represent.

George W. Bush: Speech at Ground Zero

President Bush struck just the right note, and his strength, confidence, and resolve made a real difference to me after 9/11.