In a 1983 speech, Ronald Reagan paid tribute to the heroism of "ordinary Americans who never make the headlines and will never be interviewed" (Reagan, 1983). Yet this former actor, who as President liked to spotlight altruistic citizens in his State of the Union addresses, knew full well the symbolic power of the common man in heroic narratives. Indeed, interviews with ordinary Americans-and in a broader sense, the idea of a shared commonness that explained national values-were what ultimately validated the extraordinary amount of news coverage of Reagan's final scene.