U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, who is chairing this year’s convention, opened the event by calling on GOP activists to stand up against protesters he said are trying to tear down America’s history.

Gallagher, R-Green Bay, opened the convention by reminding activists of President Reagan’s final call from office for “informed patriotism” and warning that America can’t forget its history.

He said Reagan would be rolling over in his grave at the “violent mobs” he said have taken to the streets in order to erase “our history and reject our founding principles.” He referenced vandalism at the Reagan Foundation, as well as statues of Ulysses Grant, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

Gallagher also noted those who tore down a statue in Madison dedicated to an abolitionist who died in the Civil War fighting against slavery.

“They are trying to tear things down, so we must stand up,” Gallagher said.

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