Ronald Reagan Dies
Reagan died at his home in Bel Air, California on June 5, 2004.
A short time after his death, Nancy Reagan released a statement saying: "My family and I would like the world to know that President Ronald Reagan has passed away after 10 years of Alzheimer's Disease at 93 years of age. We appreciate everyone's prayers." President George W. Bush declared June 11 a National Day of Mourning, and international tributes came in from around the world. Reagan's body was taken to the Kingsley and Gates Funeral Home in Santa Monica, California later in the day, where well-wishers paid tribute by laying flowers and American flags in the grass. On June 7, his body was removed and taken to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, where a brief family funeral service was held. His body lay in repose in the Library lobby until June 9; over 100,000 people viewed the coffin.
On June 9, Reagan's body was flown to Washington D.C. where he became the tenth United States president to lie in state. In the thirty-four hours that it lay there, 104,684 people filed past the coffin.
On June 11, a state funeral was conducted in the Washington National Cathedral, and presided over by President George W. Bush. Eulogies were given by former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher,[ former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, and both Presidents Bush. Also in attendance were Mikhail Gorbachev, and many world leaders, including British Prime Minister Tony Blair, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, and interim presidents Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, and Ghazi al-Yawer of Iraq.
After the funeral service, the Reagan entourage was flown back to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California, where another service was held, and President Reagan was interred. He is the second longest-lived president in U.S. history, having lived 93 years and 120 days, just 45 days fewer than Gerald Ford. He was the first United States president to die in the 21st century, and his was the first state funeral in the United States since that of President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1973.
His burial site is inscribed with the words he delivered at the opening of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library: "I know in my heart that man is good, that what is right will always eventually triumph and that there is purpose and worth to each and every life.
Reagan led a conservative revolution that set the economic and cultural tone of the 1980s, hastened the end of the Cold War and revitalized the Republican Party. He suffered from Alzheimer's disease since at least late 1994.
His wife, Nancy Davis Reagan, and their two children, Ronald Jr. and Patty Davis, were with him when he died at his home in the Bel Air district of Los Angeles.