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President Reagan Reacting to a Balloon Popping

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President Reagan gave a speech in West Berlin on June 12, 1987, when a balloon popped very loudly.

His reaction to the loud sound is not what one would expect. Reagan responds to the incident with absolutely zero flinches, then briefly pauses, and utters the words: “Missed me.”

The former U.S. President made a funny joke, but it does more than just make us laugh. It shows a character we rarely see in our political leaders today. Not an easy thing to do, especially when they face a genuine risk of being shot whenever they’re out in public, exposed.

Moreover, Reagan’s visit to Berlin happened only a few years following a historic attempt on his life. In 1981, would-be assassin John Hinckley Jr. fired a bullet at the President. He was wounded when one of the bullets ricocheted off the limousine and struck him under the left armpit.

Reagan commented to his wife Nancy shortly after the assassination attempt, saying “getting shot hurts,” according to his autobiography An American Life.

Furthermore, after only 12 days in the hospital, the President was released and resumed his presidential duties, media outlets report. Only now committed to changing the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Political positions and personal agenda aside, the quick wit and timely response of Ronald Reagan are what gets all of us. Perhaps, this is what grace under pressure looks like?

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