Lawmakers, world leaders, political observers and close friends Friday gathered in Simi Valley, California to lay to rest former first lady Nancy Reagan.
Those who filed into the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum to honor the fiercely loyal spouse of the 40th president regaled the dignitary-packed crowd with anecdotes about how integral she was to American politics.
“Her absolute belief in him gave him the chutzpah to run for office,” her son, Ronald Prescott Reagan, said of the quiet strength she shared with the then-aspiring candidate. “My mother provided the encouragement that he needed … she protected him.”
“Today Nancy Reagan will be laid to rest. A true example of grace and integrity. Prayers are w/ the Reagan family.”
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Reagan administration vet James A. Baker III said Reagan relied on Nancy to be his “eyes and ears” in the White House. “She had an instinct for reading people the president knew that he lacked,” Baker said. “She was absolutely, without a doubt, his closest advisor.”
Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney emphasized the depth of the Reagans’ love affair by reading a note the president sent her during their first Christmas in Washington — an account, per Reagan, of the many beloved women in his life.
In the touching tribute, Reagan heaps praise on the many roles Nancy plays to perfection: devoted wife, loving mother, remarkable first lady, enthusiastic ranch hand and irreplaceable partner.
“Fortunately, all of these women in my life are you,” Reagan assured Nancy.
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