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California Prepares for Reagan Burial - 2004-06-10

Preparations are under way for former President Reagan's burial in California. After a funeral in Washington, the Mr. Reagan's remains will be returned to California for interment at a sunset service Friday. The ceremony will be restricted to friends and family members, but thousands will line the route of the funeral motorcade.

The aircraft bearing the former president's body will touch down at a naval air base just before 5 o'clock Friday evening. From there, the motorcade will travel the 30-minute route to the Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley.

The burial site faces west, providing spectacular sunset views, and on clear days, a view of the ocean. The limestone memorial is located on a small hillside, in the midst of a replica of the south lawn of the White House.

Reagan Library director Duke Blackwood says the 720 guests will represent all phases of the former president's life.

"I think you're going to see a mix [of people] because, obviously, being an actor, he had actor friends," he said. "Being a politician, he had politician friends, and family friends from way back, and important staff people that supported him."

Library spokeswoman Melissa Giller says preparations are being made along the route from the coastal air base to the library.

"President Reagan was a man of the people," said Melissa Giller. "We want to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to come out and say their final goodbye to him."

More than 100,000 people viewed the former president's casket Monday and Tuesday in California. Thousands more viewed it in Washington. Tens of thousands of mourners are expected to line the route as former President Reagan's remains are taken to their final resting place.