Leader’s death brings tributes of jelly beans, flags
SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Ronald Reagan was remembered with jelly beans, flowers and American flags on Sunday at memorials in his hometown and outside the mortuary where the former president’s body lay.”Thank you for changing the world,” said a handwritten note among the tokens of remembrance left in Santa Monica for the nation’s 40th president, who was 93 when he died Saturday of pneumonia, as a complication of Alzheimer’s.
The family’s spokeswoman said Nancy Reagan was thankful for thousands of expressions of sympathy over the death of her husband, and despite her sadness was relieved he was no longer suffering.”I can tell you most certainly that while it is an extremely sad time for Mrs. Reagan, there is definitely a sense of relief that he is no longer suffering, and that he has gone to a better place,” Joanne Drake told a press conference outside the mortuary where Reagan’s body lay.”It’s been a really hard 10 years for her,” Drake said of Nancy Reagan, as nearly a week of tribute to the former president was detailed.
In a piece written for Time magazine before Reagan’s death, Nancy Reagan remembered her husband as “a man of strong principles and integrity” who felt his greatest accomplishment was finding a safe end to the Cold War.”I think they broke the mold when they made Ronnie,” she wrote in the article appearing Monday. “He had absolutely no ego, and he was very comfortable in his own skin; therefore, he didn’t feel he ever had to prove anything to anyone.”Former President Jimmy Carter said Sunday that the death of Reagan, who defeated him in the 1980 presidential election, was “a sad day for our country.”
“I probably know as well as anybody what a formidable communicator and campaigner that President Reagan was. It was because of him that I was retired from my last job,” Carter said before teaching Sunday school in his hometown of Plains, Ga.Carter added: “He presented some very concise, very clear messages that appealed to the American people. I think throughout his term in office he was very worthy of the moniker that was put on him as the ‘Great Communicator.”‘Today, the Reagan family was to travel in a motorcade with the body to the presidential library in Simi Valley, northwest of Los Angeles. After a private ceremony, the body was to lie in repose for public visitation through Tuesday.
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