President Ronald Reagan

(6 Feb 1911 - 5 June 2004)

40th President of the United States
January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989

06/10/04 - Nancy Reagan and Brian Mulroney 06/10/04 - Nancy Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev 06/10/04 06/10/04 06/10/04
06/10/04 06/10/04 - Bob Dole 06/10/04 06/10/04 06/10/04 - Lech Walesa
06/11/04 06/11/04 06/11/04 - U.S. Military Joint Chiefs 06/11/04 06/11/04
06/11/04 - Inside the National Cathedral 06/11/04 - Lady Margaret Thatcher, Former British Prime Minister 06/11/04 - Nancy Reagan kissing her Husband's Casket 06/11/04 06/11/04 - Michael, Ron, Patti, and Nancy Reagan
06/11/04 - Military Honor Guard in Simi Valley, CA 06/11/04 - Major General Galen Jackman and Mrs. Reagan watching the Navy jets perform the missing man formation 06/11/04 - Military Honor Guard preparing to fold
the flag
06/11/04 - Navy Capt. James A. Symonds, commander of the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan presenting Mrs. Reagan with her husband's flag 06/11/04 - Former first lady Nancy Reagan leans her face to the casket, surrounded by her family, son Ron (L) and stepson Michael and daughter Patti Davis, as Mrs. Reagan clutches the American flag which draped the mahogany casket of her husband, former United States president Ronald Reagan as they say a last goodbye at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
in Simi Valley, CA.

Family Honors Reagan in Poignant Ceremony

U.S. National - AP, June 12, 2004, 6:00 AM
By CALVIN WOODWARD and JEFF WILSON, Associated Press Writers

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. - At a sunset hilltop ceremony, a week of public mourning for Ronald Reagan came to a close with his three surviving children poignantly remembering their father — the 40th president of the United States — as loving and dedicated.
Michael Reagan, Patti Davis and Ron Reagan Jr. shared their memories Friday with former first lady Nancy Reagan and a host of foreign dignitaries, politicians and movie stars who came to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library for the last goodbye. Reagan's daughter Maureen, from his first marriage, died from cancer in 2001.
"He is home now. He is free," said his son, Ron Reagan Jr., recalling his father's 10-year struggle with Alzheimer's disease .
"In his final letter to the American people, Dad wrote, 'I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life.'
This evening, he has arrived."

The children's remarks capped five days of memorial tributes and eulogies on both coasts, complete with viewings of Reagan's coffin both at the library and at the Capitol Rotunda in Washington. Accompanied by a stoic Mrs. Reagan, the flag-draped casket arrived at the library after a flight from Washington and a slow, 25-mile motorcade from the Navy's Point Mugu air station.
Hundreds of well-wishers cheered Mrs. Reagan when she left the plane, and crowds along the motorcade route waved flags,
held their hands over their hearts and applauded as the hearse passed. The service earlier at Washington National Cathedral drew the four living ex-presidents, 25 heads of state or government, 11 former leaders and more than 180 ambassadors and foreign ministers. "Ronald Reagan belongs to the ages now," President Bush said in his eulogy, "but we preferred it when he belonged to us."

As the sun set Friday over the Pacific Ocean, Michael Reagan, Reagan's adopted son, praised his father for never making him feel different because he wasn't a biological child. "Ron Reagan adopted me into his family in 1945. I was the chosen one. I was the lucky one," he said. "In all these years, he never mentioned that I was adopted either behind my back or in front of me. I was his son, Michael Edward Reagan." Michael Reagan also told of advice his father gave him when he decided to marry.
"He sent me a letter about marriage and how important it was to be faithful to the woman you love. With a P.S.: 'You'll never get in trouble if you say I love you at least once a day.' I'm sure he told Nancy every day 'I love you.'"

Patti Davis said that in her father's last moment, "when he opened his eyes, eyes that had not opened for many, many days, and looked at my mother, he showed us that neither disease nor death can conquer love." The casket was then carried to the burial site, where final prayers were offered, an artillery battery and riflemen fired salutes, and a bugler played "Taps." Four Navy fighter jets soared overhead, one peeling up and away. American guns around the world fired in Reagan's honor — 21-gun salutes at the stroke of noon local time at U.S. military bases, at dusk, another worldwide round of 50-gun salutes. As Mrs. Reagan weeped, the flag was removed the casket, folded and presented to her by Navy Capt. James A. Symonds, commander of the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. The banner had flown over the ship at the time of the former president's death.

Clutching the flag, Mrs. Reagan stepped to the casket, placed her head on the lid and cried as her children rushed to comfort her. Unwilling to leave, she kissed and rubbed the casket. "I love you," she said quietly. Mrs. Reagan, 82, slow in step yet keenly alert to every polished move in the week's remembrance, had shepherded the casket everywhere with quiet intensity, turning the most public of events into a series of private moments. She kissed it lightly at the Capitol Rotunda, and laid her head on it at the library.
Many times, she ran her hands slowly up and down the stripes of the flag and, leaning close, seemed to whisper something to her husband of 52 years.

In Washington earlier, dignitaries and friends remembered the president for his firm, but humble, authority, for his commitment to his wife and for his sense of humor. "His politics had a freshness and optimism that won converts from every class and every nation — and ultimately from the very heart of the evil empire," said former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in taped remarks presented at the funeral. Thatcher, who has given up public speaking after a series of small strokes, sat next to Mikhail Gorbachev, who led that Soviet "empire" and eventually became Reagan's friend. About 700 mourners attended the private burial ceremony in Simi Valley, including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, actor Tom Selleck and singer Wayne Newton.

Thousands more lined the motorcade route from Point Mugu to the library, hoping to catch a last glimpse of the president and his family. Some waited for hours on highway overpasses and on local roads along the route, which followed Highway 101. Bruce Newman, 54, of Camarillo, said he saw the casket at the library at 4 a.m. Tuesday and said the week's events brought the nation together much as the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks had done. "It brought everybody that I've seen together in an incredible way. Everybody is really active right now," he said. "For 10 years, everybody knew he was going to be gone. Now it's real."

Reagan died last Saturday at 93 from pneumonia complicated by the Alzheimer's disease that had progressively clouded his mind. He told the world in 1994, five years after ending his two-term presidency, that he had Alzheimer's in his famous letter to the American people. Reagan had begun thinking of his last rites in 1981, his first year as president, and planned some elements of the funeral — inviting the elder Bush and Thatcher to speak, asking Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor to do a reading and expressing a wish for an operatic soloist, family representatives said. Mrs. Reagan filled in the program by asking the current president to take part, and inviting former Sen. John Danforth, an Episcopalian priest, to officiate at the multi-faith service. Delivering the homily, Danforth read from the Sermon on the Mount, Reagan's favorite Biblical theme. The Gospel of Matthew, 5:14-16, reads, "You are the light of the world, a city set on a hill cannot be hid," a passage that Reagan often quoted to project his view of America as a beacon of freedom and hope. "If ever we have known a child of light, it was Ronald Reagan," Danforth said.
Associated Press Writer Calvin Woodward reported from Washington. AP Writer Ryan Pearson contributed to this report.

Former President Ronald Reagan passed away yesterday, Saturday, June 5, 2004 in Los Angeles at the age of 93.

He was a man who loved his country, a man without guile who exuded optimism and was beloved of millions.
As Joe Madagan (’57) of FL said, “President Reagan was a serious man, but did not take himself seriously.
His strength was using humor to describe world events and the human condition.
This polite gentleman wrote in his yearbook at graduation,
‘Life is like a melody. Let the music begin’...this is not an accurate quote, but reveals his vision and optimism.”

Thanks, Joe. I appreciate your words.
- Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of NC - 06/06/04
 As did so many of you today, I watched the televised coverage of Ronald Reagan’s
funeral with awe in my heart and tears on my cheeks.

I love television. I’ve always loved television. I vividly remember watching the coronation
of Queen Elizabeth II on June 2, 1953. I was almost six years old, and it remains with me
even after 51 years. I deeply appreciate the blessing that television affords us of being right
there for something of this importance, even when we’re separated by hundreds and perhaps
thousands of miles. We live in remarkable times.
- Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of NC - 06/11/04

Thanks for your note...having just concluded watching for the entire day, it was indeed moving...I cannot help but
believe many Americans like myself found a pride and admiration in the man Ronald Reagan that perhaps we did not
appreciate when he was is clear to me he stood for goodness, honor, love, respect and most of all a real
belief in God...perhaps many of us can rededicate our lives to providing goodness to each other and to the world...
I look forward to your page...

Best regards,

- Paul Dobie ('66) of CA - 06/11/04
Thanks, Paul.
Hey Carol: 

I was visiting my sister in PA and watched the Reagan funeral "doings" and was so mesmerized by the procession to the Rotunda! 
I hadn't remembered seeing that before.  It was amazing.  It was also so great to see the citizens out in support and I was amazed
that the "media" was surprised by the numbers that turned out in CA and in DC.  Frankly, I wasn't surprised.  Love those Marines!!!  Have to say I'm partial to the Navy as well (my dad)!!  ALSO, I remember watching Queen Elizabeth's coronation as well!!! 
Love that history stuff!

- Sarah Puckett Kressaty ('65) of VA - 06/13/04
Thanks, Sarah.

God of Our Fathers
(The National Hymn)

Words: Daniel C. Roberts, 1876
Music: George W. Warren, 1888

God of our fathers, Whose almighty hand
Leads forth in beauty all the starry band
Of shining worlds in splendor through the skies
Our grateful songs before Thy throne arise.

Thy love divine hath led us in the past,
In this free land by Thee our lot is cast,
Be Thou our Ruler, Guardian, Guide and Stay,
Thy Word our law, Thy paths our chosen way.

From war’s alarms, from deadly pestilence,
Be Thy strong arm our ever sure defense;
Thy true religion in our hearts increase,
Thy bounteous goodness nourish us in peace.

"God of Our Fathers" lyrics courtesy of - 06/14/04

"God of Our Fathers" lyrics courtesy of
at the suggestion of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 06/13/04
Thanks, Dave!

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