Accessibility links

Former President Reagan's Body Begins Final Journey - 2004-06-07

Californians are paying their last respects to former President Ronald Reagan, whose flag-draped casket is lying in repose at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

Mr. Reagan's widow, Nancy, accompanied the casket from a Santa Monica funeral home to Simi Valley, 70 kilometers north of Los Angeles. A band played "Hail to the Chief" as eight servicemen removed the casket.

After a brief service for the Reagan family, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, were among the first to pay tribute before the closed casket. The body will lie in repose in Simi Valley for 30 hours.

Outside, visitors brought small American flags, flowers, and even bags of jelly beans, which always graced the former President's desk in the Oval Office.

California residents like this man recalled Mr. Reagan's legacy. "Folks from all around the world and many that are not even citizens of the United States do have incredibly respect for this man as he obviously touched the hearts of many throughout the entire world," he said.

Wednesday, Mrs. Reagan will accompany the former president's body to Washington, where it will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda. World leaders will join U.S. officials for a state funeral Friday.

Mr. Reagan's remains will then be returned to California for burial Friday evening at the Reagan Library.