For 35 hours, his fellow citizens -- more than 100,000 of them -- had stood in line to pay their respects to Ronald Reagan, filing past his coffin beneath the vast dome of the Capitol in an unending line.
Yesterday, leaders of the nation and world honored the 40th president of the United States, gathering beneath the towering vaults of Washington National Cathedral to celebrate his life and presidency six days
after his death at age 93.
"Ronald Reagan belongs to the ages now," said President Bush, echoing words once spoken upon the death of Abraham Lincoln, "but we preferred it when he
belonged to us."
Four former presidents and 25 heads of state were among those attending the first state funeral in Washington in more than 30 years, two hours of eulogies, prayer and soaring musical celebration that included "Amazing Grace," "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and the anthem "The Mansions of the Lord."
When the service was done, a hearse carried Reagan under a gray and drizzly sky to Andrews Air Force Base for his last journey home to California.
There, in the setting sun, Reagan was buried on the grounds of his presidential
library in Simi Valley.