Farewell to the Iron Lady

Published April 11, 2013

With the exception of Lech Walesa, the last of the great Cold War heroes has died.

Former Prime Minister of Great Britain Lady Margaret Thatcher, age 87, passed away Monday, April 8, 2013, following a stroke.

Along with Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II, and former Solidarity leader Lech Walesa, the Iron Lady is one of a small cadre of individuals personally responsible for the fall of the Berlin Wall and the demise of the former Soviet Union.  Like that of her American counterpart, former President Ronald Reagan, Lady Thatcher’s idea of Cold War strategy was simple:  “We win; they lose.”  She won, they lost.  And perhaps they knew they would:  it was the Soviets who dubbed Lady Thatcher “The Iron Lady.”

Her iron will, her steadfast vision, and her clear-headed sense of right and wrong not only proved her to be on the right side of history, but as former U. S. Secretary of State James Baker put it on the April 8, 2013, “PBS News Hour,” also helped to change the arc of history.  She was, as Chicago Tribune editorial cartoonist Scott Stantis characterized her in his tribute to her, “indomitable.”

Lady Thatcher’s biography is well-known, as is her late-in-life slide – like that of her hero Ronald Reagan – into dementia.  We write here not to repeat those details but solely to salute her life in the wake of her passing.

As another former Secretary of State, George Schultz, also put it, on the April 8, 2013, News Hour, the legacy of Margaret Thatcher’s, in one word, is “Freedom.”

Let us hope that she – and we – will achieve that for eternity.