Reagan remembered in grandiose memorial service

June 10, 2004, midnight | By Adedeji Ogunfolu | 19 years, 8 months ago

Nation observes pervasive state of mourning

This is not original reporting. All information has been compiled from Washington Post article A day of ritual and remembrance by David Von Drehle.

Tens of thousands of citizens lined Constitution Avenue and the West Entrance to the Capitol to pay respects to the deceased former president, Ronald Reagan on June 9.

Many police officers in Washington were on duty and on high alert. Their presence was needed because before Reagan's body reached the Capitol, the building was evacuated in a panic amid reports that an unidentified aircraft was closing in. At 4:37 p.m., the Capitol and nearby congressional office buildings were evacuated due to fear of a terrorist attack. The plane was carrying Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher (R) that had briefly lost contact with ground controllers.

Nations from around the world are planning to pay their condolences. The State Department estimates that 141 embassies intend to send representatives to honor Reagan.

Former first lady Nancy Reagan, dressed in black, and her sons and daughters were also present at the services.

Vice President Dick Cheney and members of the House and Senate were present at the memorial service. President Bush and first lady Laura Bush will visit the Rotunda this evening after returning to Washington from the G-8 summit in Sea Island, Ga. They also plan to meet with Reagan family members.

Reagan's funeral is Washington's first state funeral in more than 30 years. Before the president was laid to rest in the Rotunda, there was a 21-gun salute. Then servicemen carried the coffin up 99 steps to lie in state. Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill) paid homage to the former commander in chief before members of Congress and diplomatic corps. The service ended with the singing "America the Beautiful," by the Air Force's Singing Sergeants.

The Rotunda will be open to the public today, so that citizens pay their respects. The Government will be closed on Friday, to observe a national day of mourning.

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Adedeji Ogunfolu. Adedeji Ogunfolu is now a senior. Besides working dilligently on the Silver Chips Online staff, he is an extremely enthusiastic musician. He is not ashamed to tell people that he has been to band camp, but he prefers to call it orchestra camp. He has … More »

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