chapter  2
48 Pages

Reagan and Brokaw in 1984

ByJonathan M. Bullinger

The year 1984 is situated as the starting point for this new, narrow perspective on U.S. remembrance of World War II. This chapter focuses on two men who helped construct that 1984 moment, U.S. President Ronald Reagan and NBC Nightly News host, Tom Brokaw. Reagan’s significance is constructed from two elements. The first is the rise of Reagan’s heritage-embracing conservative government with its atmosphere for a renewed patriotism moored in pre-Cold War geopolitics. Second is Reagan’s emotional perspective when dealing with the U.S. GI as a tragic and heroic figure informed in part by the emotionality of Holocaust witness perspectives from 1970s. This chapter also interprets Tom Brokaw’s NBC News coverage of the fortieth anniversary of D-Day beginning on May 28 with contributions from correspondents John Chancellor and Jim Bittermann, and culminating on June 6 with his special program, D-Day Plus 40 Years. This chapter concludes with a brief overview of the U.S. government’s report on the commemoration authored by U.S. House of Representatives member from Mississippi, G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery.