Simi Valley, California – Three days of formal mourning for former first lady Nancy Reagan began Wednesday with a private funeral. Then, her casket was taken in a police-escorted motorcade up an empty freeway for a public viewing at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
After a private 20-minute service at a Santa Monica funeral home where about 20 relatives and close personal friends attended, Nancy Reagan’s casket was taken by motorcade to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library where mourners could pay respect as she will remain for two days of public viewing.
The casket covered in white roses and peonies were escorted from Santa Monica through the Ronald Reagan Freeway to the library in the hills of Simi Valley. On its way, firefighters in dress blues saluted from atop fire trucks, other observers held their hands over their hearts and more than 100 docents held small flags.
Family and friends ceremony
At the library, a ten-minute ceremony was held. There, daughter Patti Davis, dressed in black, was among about 20 family members and close friends who included the children of Ronald Reagan’s son Michael and Dennis Revell, the widower of the president’s late daughter Maureen.
“May angels surround her and saints release her to Jesus,” the Rev. Stuart Kenworthy, vicar at the Washington National Cathedral, said during the 10-minute service.
The Rev. Donn Moomaw, the Reagan family’s pastor, read from the 23rd Psalm.
Jeanie Maurello, a medical assistant at Providence St. John’s Health Center said she had always been a very classy woman.
Lupe Salazar, Another medical assistant said she was also an admirer as Reagan had done a lot of work that helped the country.
Friday funeral was plan by Nancy Reagan herself
The funeral scheduled for Friday to take place on the library’s lawn and to which approximately 1,000 people have been invited was planned by the former first lady herself. Before her death, she selected the flower arrangements, the music to be played by a Marine Corps band.
President Richard Nixon’s daughter Tricia Nixon Cox and President Lyndon Johnson’s daughters Lynda Bird Johnson Robb and Luci Baines Johnson have already confirmed they will attend. Other guests will include Katie Couric, Chris Matthews, Newt and Callista Gingrich, Anjelica Houston, Wayne Newton and Mr. T, the Ronald Reagan Foundation said Wednesday. Mr. T was involved in Mrs. Reagan’s “Just Say No” anti-drug efforts during the 1980s.
Source: The Washington Post