November 25, 1985
Dear Dan:I appreciate the important work that you and your colleagues have done to prepare the way for a more secure America.
Our Strategic Defense Initiative is specifically intended to find new ways to prevent war. It does not rest on the fatal concept of nuclear retaliation, but rather on defense provided against such attacks through a non-nuclear system. Together we must work for something more than armed truce; we can achieve true and lasting peace.
You, and all those who have made the High Frontier project a reality, have rendered our country an invaluable service for which all future generations will be grateful. I value greatly your continuing efforts to help us build a national consensus and to find the difficult answers for the profound strategic problems that face all of us in this nuclear age.
We have a great opportunity and challenge before us in making nuclear weapons obsolete and I truly appreciate your special efforts in attaining that goal.
God bless you!
LTG Daniel O. Graham, USA, Ret.
1010 Vermont Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005
This is Ronald Reagan with warm greetings and best wishes to General Dan Graham and all of you at High Frontier.
The tenth anniversary of High Frontier - a notable achievement!
As you know, Dan, you and I were talking missile defense before you set up High Frontier in September of '81. Remember that famous debate in February 1980 in Nashua, New Hampshire? I remember just before that debate, you briefed me on your concept of a missile shield to protect our nation. It was exceedingly important. Dick Allen was there - he said, "We've just seen history made."
The following spring at the White House when we discussed your ideas again I remember telling Jim Baker to make sure Cap Weinberger heard your presentation.
You and a small group of dedicated, determined people helped us move the SDI concept over all the roadblocks put up by the people of less vision and belief in
American capacity. It wasn't easy. But we did it!
Remember the 1983 speech?
Some people in the administration kept saying - wait - now's not the time - we should move ahead slowly - be cautious. Well - wait we would not.
I guess I surprised a lot of folks on March 23, 1983 when I announced the Strategic Defense Initiative in the budget speech. Yes, I recognized it was a formidable
technical task - for the scientific community - to turn their great talents now to the cause of mankind and world peace. But I believed then and I believe now that it
would be better to save lives than to avenge them.
That was 1983. I guess I surprised a lot of other people later when we refused to trade off SDI at Reykjavik.
Now it's 1991 - as to the years in between - it's almost unbelievable - so much has happened. But this is still a dangerous, unpredictable world we live in. As
President Bush says, we need SDI now more than ever.
Keep slugging Danny. You and all those supporting and making it happen in High Frontier have my thanks and the thanks of the nation.