Final Respects: Tremendous Turnout for Nancy Reagan

Tens of thousands of people are traveled from near and far to pay their finals respects to former First Lady Nancy Reagan, who will be laid to rest next to her husband, President Ronald Reagan, on Friday.

Reagan passed away on Sunday. She was 94.

Her body arrived at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley on Wednesday, where it has lain in repose until Friday’s burial. According to the local CBS News affiliate in Los Angeles, thousands turned out for Wednesday’s viewing. The mood of those in attendance was reportedly somber, and there was no shortage of tears of those mourning her loss. Many recalled fond memories of the First Lady’s spirited yet ladylike personality and how she opened her heart to so many people.

Reagan’s kindness and compassion was felt by many. She devoted much of her time to her “Just say no” campaign, discouraging drug abuse by youth.

A public viewing of Reagan’s casket was held on Wednesday, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., and again on Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday’s funeral is private.

Reagan will reportedly be buried in a solid mahogany, Marsellus Casket, which was made in Syracuse, New York before the company’s factory closed in 2003. The casket  has been described by the company as a “Marsellus Masterpiece.”

CBS News notes that Reagan planned her own funeral, having selected the flower arrangements, the music to be played by the Marine Corps, and the list of individuals to be invited to her private memorial this Friday. The Reagan Library announced on Thursday that Friday’s funeral will be livestreamed at a special YouTube link (click here).

Among those attending her funeral are Mr. T, Chris Matthews, Katie Couric, Newt Gingrich and Wayne Newton. Hillary Clinton will also reportedly attend. President Barack Obama will not be present, as he will instead be in Texas to participate in a South by Southwest Interactive Festival. First Lady Michelle Obama, however, will be attending on the couple’s behalf.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz.


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