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Reagan Was Symbol of America, President Bush Says - 2004-06-11

President Bush hailed former President Ronald Reagan as a "symbol of America" during funeral services for Mr. Reagan Friday, at Washington's National Cathedral.

World leaders past and present gathered at the cathedral to pay their last respects to Mr. Reagan, who died Saturday at age 93.

In his eulogy, President Bush said Mr. Reagan believed that people were basically good, and had a right to be free. He said the late president saw America as "not just a place in the world, but the hope of the world."

In a videotaped eulogy, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said President Reagan won the Cold War. She said he did it not only without firing a shot, but also by turning enemies into friends.

Ms. Thatcher taped the eulogy 18 months ago after retiring from public speaking because of health problems. She attended today's funeral in Washington.

Former President George Herbert Walker Bush fought back tears during his remarks, saying he learned more from Ronald Reagan than anyone else in his public life.

Friday's ceremony caps a week of mourning and remembrances for the late president. Mr. Reagan's remains will now be flown back to California for a private sunset burial ceremony at the Reagan Library near Los Angeles.