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I mean to speak tonight of big things; of big changes and the promises they hold, and of some big problems and how together we can solve them and move our country forward as the undisputed leader of the age.
We gather tonight at a dramatic and deeply promising time in our history and in the history of man on earth. For in the past 12 months, the world has known changes of almost biblical proportions. And even now, months after the failed coup tht doomed a failed system, I am not sure we have absorbed the full impact--the full import--of what happened. But communism died this year.
Even as President, with the most fascinating possible vantage point, there were times when I wa so busy helping to manage progress, and lead change, that I didn't always show the joy that was in my heart.
But the biggest thing that has happened in the world in my life--in our lives--is this: By the grace of God, America won the Cold War.
I mean to speak this evening of the changes that can take place in our country now that we can stop making the sacrifices we had to make when we had an avowed enemy that was a superpower. Now we can look homeward even more and move to set right what needs to be set right.
I will speak of those things. But let me tell you something I've been thinking these past few months. It's a kind of roll call of honor. For the Cold War didn't "end"--it …