London Relocation wishes America a Happy Independence Day! And we ironically send these wishes from the country we earned our independence from! 🙂 But that’s okay, ay? As I’d mentioned on Saturday when listing where Americans moving to London can find the Fourth of July in London, we live in a nice time when these two nations can be allies. I’d also mentioned that, symbolic of this union, the Liberty Bell was forged here at the same place as Big Ben, and it seems today is marking yet another London link between the US and UK.

In Grosvenor Square just outside the US Embassy in London, a 10-foot bronze statue of President Ronald Reagan has been unveiled today. The statue commemorates what would have been Reagan’s 100th year of life, and it stands opposite the likeness of Dwight Eisenhower. Foreign Secretary William Hague and former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (here on behalf of Reagan’s widow, Nancy) are both present to speak at the festivities, and, though former Prime Minister Lady Margaret Thatcher was a special invited guest, she is unable to attend due to her fragile health. Nonetheless, having formed a strong alliance with Reagan in fighting Communism during the Cold War, Thatcher sent along these sentiments toward him:

“Ronald Reagan was a great president and a great man. A true leader for our times. He held clear principles and acted upon them with purpose.

“Through his strength and his conviction he brought millions of people to freedom as the iron curtain came down.

“It was a pleasure to be his colleague and his friend and I hope this statue will be a reminder to future generations of the debt we owe him.”

(as quoted in BBC News)

Regarding the significance of the statue, Rob Bauer, director of external affairs for the Ronald Reagan foundation, further states:

“President Reagan always referred to the United States’ special relationship with Great Britain, especially his personal friendship with Baroness Thatcher.

“The Reagan Foundation commissioned the statue to honour that partnership and to celebrate an enduring alliance.”

(as quoted in The Telegraph)

Sculptor Chas Fagan had also created the Reagan statue for the Capitol Rotunda in the US Congress. His new statue in London allegedly bears the epitaph: “Ronald Reagan won the Cold War without firing a shot,” a quotation attributed to Thatcher. A stone from the Berlin Wall will also be installed in front of its plinth as a symbol of Reagan’s contributions to ending the Cold War.

So, as you make your relocation to London (particularly if you’re moving to London from America), be on the lookout for the occasional homage to the United States like this; there are more than you’d realize…Two in particular that fill me with pride are the Abraham Lincoln statue near Westminster Abbey and the American Memorial Chapelin the back of St. Paul’s Cathedral (in tribute to the Britain-based US soldiers who gave their lives in WWII). It’s just one of those mystifying yet wondrous ways in which an international relocation can somehow bring you closer to home…