Congressional Medal of Honor

Garfield Langhorn

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Reagan, Ronald. "Remarks in Denver, Colorado, at the Annual Convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People." (June 29, 1981). Retrieved September 14, 2005 at

Former President Ronald Reagan, at a speech given at the annual NAACP convention held in Denver, Colorado in June of 1981, closed by referencing Medal of Honor winner, Garfield Langhorn:

Seventy-two years ago the famous call went forth, the call for a conference emphasizing the civil and political rights of blacks. And the result of that call, of course, was the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Well, today let us issue a call for new perspectives on the economic challenges facing black Americans. Let us issue a call for exciting programs to spring America forward toward the next century, an America full of new solutions to old problems.

We will link hands to build an era where we can put fear behind us and hope in front of us. It can be an era in which programs are less important than opportunities. It can be an era where we all reach out in reconciliation instead of anger and dispute.

In the war in Vietnam several years ago, a live grenade fell among a group of American soldiers. They were frozen with horror knowing they were only seconds away from death. Then one young soldier, a black, threw himself on the grenade, covering it with his helmet and his body. He died to save his comrades. Greater glory hath no man. Congressional Medal of Honor winner, posthumously presented, Garfield Langhorn's last whispered words were, "You have to care."

Let us care. Let us work to build a nation that is free of racism, full of opportunity, and determined to loosen the creative energies of every person of every race, of every station, to make a better life. It will be my honor to stand alongside you to answer this call.

Thank you.
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