Farewell to Former President Ronald Reagan

(VOA)–A week of remembrances for former President Ronald Reagan began on Monday–when his remains arrived at his presidential library in Simi Valley–California.

There–the body will lie in repose for two days–while mourners pay last respects to the 40th US president–who died Saturday at age 93–of pneumonia after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

On Wednesday–Mr. Reagan’s body will be flown to Washington ahead of a state funeral on Friday.

President Bush has declared Friday a national day of mourning.

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev are among the prominent figures planning to attend Friday’s state funeral for Ronald Reagan at Washington’s National Cathedral.

The former British leader has given up public speaking after a series of strokes–but will deliver a videotaped eulogy recorded several months before Reagan’s death.

Reagan and Thatcher were close friends–politically united by their dislike for communism.

Gorbachev forged a relationship with the late president during summit meetings in the final years of the Cold War.

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