Remembering Reagan

'Really intense days' brought sense of hope

Staff WriterJune 11, 2004 

Nancy West of Oxford remembers sitting glued to the television as President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev met together in a summit in Washington in 1987. The memory runs so strong that West, now 51, left her Granville County home Wednesday to sign the condolence book for her "favorite president" at the State Capitol.

MEMORY OF THAT TIME? "Those were really intense days for me. I had two little ones who were screaming at the top of their lungs while I was trying to listen to Reagan whenever he addressed the nation. ... For both Reagan and Gorbachev to reach such a high point, that really made us as Americans secure ... by giving us hope for the end of the Cold War."

HOW WILL SHE REMEMBER PRESIDENT REAGAN? "I will honor his birthday and wholeheartedly support the government to fight communism and terrorism, even though the sad part is that we lose our sons and daughters who are soldiers, and serve in these wars. It was because of presidents like him that the United States continues to promote peace, and it is because of him that we are safer today."

WHAT'S NEXT

TODAY: Visitation at the Capitol ends at 7 a.m.

A funeral will be at Washington National Cathedral. The service begins at 11:30 a.m. It is not open to the public, but it will be televised.

Eulogies are planned by President Bush, former President George H.W. Bush, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. Irish tenor Ronan Tynan will perform.

Other dignitaries planning to attend include Prince Charles, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Mikhail Gorbachev, leader of the Soviet Union during part of Reagan's presidency.

After the service, Reagan's body will be returned to his presidential library in Simi Valley, Calif., for a private burial service at sunset.

DAY OF MOURNING

Today will be a national day of mourning as the nation pays its respects to President Reagan, who died Saturday at age 93. Here's how the observance will affect activities in the Triangle and across the nation:

CLOSED

* All federal offices.

* U.S. post offices.

* Financial markets.

* The state governments of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming.

OPEN

* State, city, and county offices in North Carolina.

* Banks.

* Libraries and museums.

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