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US Bids Final Farewell to Former President Reagan - 2004-06-11


Funeral services are under way at Washington's National Cathedral for former President Reagan. Past and present world leaders are in attendance.

Following a 21-gun salute, Mr. Reagan's body was transferred from the U.S. Capitol to a motorcade for the slow, eight-kilometer drive in a light rain to the National Cathedral.

Before the departure, Mr. Reagan's widow, Nancy, kissed the flag-draped casket.

More than 100,000 people came to pay their respects to Mr. Reagan in the Capitol's Rotunda since Wednesday night. They included President Bush and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, with whom the 40th president developed a friendship in the waning days of communism and in the aftermath of its collapse.

President Bush is delivering a eulogy at the funeral, as is Mr. Bush's father, former President Bush, who served as Mr. Reagan's vice president for eight years, and then succeeded him in the White House.

The other surviving U.S. presidents are also attending, including Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.

Other foreign leaders attending include British Prime Minister Tony Blair, South African President Thabo Mbeki, Iraq's new president, Sheik Ghazi al-Yawar and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

After the funeral, Mr. Reagan's body will be flown back to California for burial services at sunset on the grounds of his presidential library.

Mr. Reagan died Saturday at the age of 93, following a 10-year battle with Alzheimer's disease.

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