On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by a deranged man.

But the President’s response and his response to what seemed like another attempt on his life six years later describe the true grit of his character.

“The president had just finished addressing a labor meeting at the Washington Hilton Hotel and was walking with his entourage to his limousine when Hinckley, standing among a group of reporters, fired six shots at the president, hitting Reagan and three of his attendants. White House Press Secretary James Brady was shot in the head and critically wounded, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy was shot in the side, and District of Columbia policeman Thomas Delahaney was shot in the neck. After firing the shots, Hinckley was overpowered and pinned against a wall, and President Reagan, apparently unaware that he’d been shot, was shoved into his limousine by a Secret Service agent and rushed to the hospital.

The president was shot in the left lung, and the .22 caliber bullet just missed his heart. In an impressive feat for a 70-year-old man with a collapsed lung, he walked into George Washington University Hospital under his own power. As he was treated and prepared for surgery, he was in good spirits and quipped to his wife, Nancy, ”Honey, I forgot to duck,” and to his surgeons, “Please tell me you’re Republicans.” Reagan’s surgery lasted two hours, and he was listed in stable and good condition afterward.” –History Channel

Six years later, Reagan was at Tempelhof U.S. Air Base in West Berlin, giving a speech to honor Berlin’s 750th anniversary.

During his speech in front of hundreds of Americans, one of the thousands of red, white and blue balloons popped.  Reagan did not flinch or bat an eye, he simply said, “Missed me.”

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