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Nancy Reagan’s statement on James Brady’s death

Former first lady Nancy Reagan issued a statement on Monday after the death of former press secretary James Brady, who was seriously wounded in the March 1981 assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.

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I was deeply saddened to learn of Jim Brady’s passing today. Thinking of him brings back so many memories - happy and sad - of a time in all of our lives when we learned what it means to ‘‘play the hand we’re dealt.’’ On the 1980 campaign plane, Jim was a wise counselor, who took his role but not himself seriously. Ronnie and I enjoyed his company, trusted his judgment and relied on him. So did the press corps.

In the short time he was able to serve as White House press secretary, Jim brought sharp instincts, integrity and energy to one of the most demanding jobs in Washington. What a shame that he was not able to serve as we had hoped for longer. I still remember vividly that day in March 1981, when Sarah and I sat together in a tiny room near the emergency room at George Washington University Hospital, trying to comfort each other while we both were gripped with unspeakable fear. The bond we established then was unlike any other.

Jim was the personification of courage and perseverance. He and Sarah never gave up, and never stopped caring about the causes in which they believed. They remained dear friends, and I send my deepest sympathy to Sarah, Scott and Missy.

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