Palin, in a well written piece, expresses her admiration thusly:
"The image of the lifeguard seems to represent what Reagan was to America and to the freedom-loving people of the world. He lifted our country up at a time when we were in the depths of economic, cultural and spiritual malaise. We were told that we must accept that the era of American greatness was over; but with his optimism and common sense, President Reagan held up a mirror to the American soul to remind us of our exceptionalism."
Ronald Reagan was 15 years old when he became a lifeguard at Lowell Park on the Rock River, in his hometown of Dixon, Il.. A CNN documentary on Reagan's early recounts ,,, " when his shift was up and swimmers didn’t want to get out, he would toss pebbles from here and yell “River Rat!!!” But that’s not the only way to get swimmers out of the water. In seven summers as a lifeguard, he would go on to save 77 lives and notched a mark on a wooden log for every life he saved."
Palin is one of several prominent political USA Today called upon to share their remembrances and observations of the former Warner Brothers movie star, who turned into the most prominent conservative politician of the previous century. Below are the links to all the articles celebrating the Regan Centennial
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Reagan saw that 'we are all patriots'
HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: A man who shaped our times
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: An 'unshakable faith' in America
MITT ROMNEY: A legacy of optimism, strength
SAM DONALDSON: My respect for Reagan only grew
LEON ARON: His moral leadership won the Cold War
LOU CANNON: He 'tempered conviction with compromise'
EDWIN MEESE: His vision revived the spirit of America
The entire Palin article is here