On January 20, 1981, in his inaugural address, President Ronald Reagan gave a message of American strength and spirit, concluding with the written words of a fallen war hero.  Reagan’s moving speech introduced a young and obscure American private, Martin A. Treptow, who had been killed in France more than six decades earlier during our country’s first World War.

In 1917, Private Treptow enlisted in the Iowa National Guard, which became the 168th Infantry Regiment, 84th Brigade, in the 42d ”Rainbow” Division when it was called to Federal service.  He was killed on July 29, 1918, and it was from his diary that President Reagan read his pledge of service to defend his country.

 

Watch as President Reagan immortalized the courage and commitment of one young man, a man who fought so we can be free.

 

 

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