WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) today commemorated the 100th birthday of former President Ronald Reagan. Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, was born on February 6, 1911. Hoeven paid tribute in the Congressional Record to “the Great Communicator,” a leader he remembers as an optimist who believed in our nation and our ability to succeed.

Following is the full text of Hoeven’s statement:

“Today, when our country faces enormous challenges – both domestic and international – we have an opportunity to recognize President Ronald Reagan on the 100th anniversary of his birth.

“Today – when we need big doses of optimism and a renewed faith in America – the memory of Ronald Reagan tells us that our challenges can be met and our obstacles can be overcome.

“I remember the Reagan era well. The late seventies and early eighties were tough times. I had just finished college and returned to North Dakota, and America was clearly hurting.

“It was the era of stagflation – stagnant economic growth and inflation, all at the same time.

“It was an era of fuel shortages, long lines at the gas station, and sticker shock when you got to the pump.

“A few years later, America was emerging from that recession and the country was on the mend. We could see light on the horizon. President Reagan told us: ‘It’s morning again in America.’ And it was.

“It was also the era of the Cold War. For more than a generation, the Soviet Union had kept Eastern Europe and its own people under its heel, and threatened the West with belligerent rhetoric and an arsenal of nuclear weapons.

“In 1987, at a time when much of the world was resigned to a tense doctrine of coexistence, with a literal and figurative wall between us, President Ronald Reagan would have none of it. He stood at the Berlin Wall, and challenged: ‘Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!’ And made it happen.

“In some of our nation’s darkest hours, President Ronald Reagan was there to remind us that we are a great nation and a great people – a nation kind and generous beyond measure, when deserved, but tough and enduring when circumstances warranted.

“He knew that believing in ourselves was vital, and then working together to get the job done. That is a lesson worth remembering, today, 100 years after the birth of one of America’s greatest presidents.

“We can – and we will – build a brighter future for ourselves and for future generations. We will continue to truly be that shining city on a hill – a beacon of light and liberty for the world.”