Friday, June 11, 2004

Daughter, dad make trip to say goodbye to 'hero'

By Matt Leingang
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LOVELAND - Liz Wylie was just 2 years old when Ronald Reagan's presidency ended - too young to remember the man or his government record.

But Wylie, now 17, traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to say goodbye to a president she considers a hero.

History books and high school government classes taught Wylie about Reagan's pro-life record and his principled stance against Communism, she said.

"He's always been a hero in our family," said Wylie, who will be a senior this fall at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy in Sycamore Township.

Wylie made the eight-hour drive Wednesday with her father, Daniel Wylie, a senior legal research associate with LexisNexis in Dayton.

The trip is a fulfillment of a promise that Daniel Wylie made to his daughter several years ago.

"She's been wanting to go to Washington for some time, and I said that when President Reagan dies, that would be a good time to go and also pay our respects," Daniel Wylie, 42, said.

After spending Wednesday night at the home of a relative in Maryland, the Wylies drove to the U.S. Capitol building Thursday and began standing in line at 7 a.m. It took three hours for them to make it inside the Rotunda, where Reagan's coffin had been placed.

They spent about six minutes inside, Daniel Wylie said.

"It was a very moving experience," he said. "There were young people as well as older people. As we waited in line, we had the chance to chat with people from all over the country - what a tremendous outpouring of honor for a great man."

The Wylie family has always been active in the GOP. Reagan was the first president that Daniel Wylie was old enough to vote for in 1980, and he organized a chapter of the College Republicans while an undergrad at Cincinnati Bible College.

Following in her father's footsteps, Liz said she intends to vote for President Bush this fall. They must also return to their home in Loveland tonight because Liz will be going door to door Saturday with Republican campaign workers in Warren County.


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Today's stories:
Memories wiped away, bit by bit
Tributes abound on Fountain Square
Area folks feel drawn to Capitol to pay tribute
'Reagan Revolution' wasn't for all
Daughter, dad make trip to say goodbye to 'hero'
Notion: Name VOA park after Reagan