آقای ام بکه رییس جمهور آفریقای جنوبی در مراسم تدفین ریگن شرکت کرد.

President George W. Bush and his wife Laura pay their last respects

President George W. Bush and his wife Laura pay their last respects


America's long goodbye to Ronald Reagan reached a majestic climax today with a solemn state funeral at the Washington National Cathedral attended by scores of world leaders past and present. The ceremony capped six days of mourning and rosy remembrance for the 40th president of the United States, who died last Saturday at age 93 after a 10-year struggle with Alzheimer's Disease.

He had bid farewell to the American people in a moving letter revealing his illness 10 years ago and had since lived in seclusion, cared for by his wife, Nancy. Veterans of the Cold War struggle against communism that Reagan helped end were prominent at the funeral, attended by 25 current heads of state or government, including President Thabo Mbeki, 14 foreign ministers and 11 former heads of state.

All four living former US presidents - Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George Bush and Bill Clinton - filed into the massive faux Gothic structure on a hill over Washington, which took 83 years to build and was only completed in 1990. Mikhail Gorbachev, the last president of the Soviet Union who crossed swords with Reagan at memorable summits in the 1980s and then allowed the Cold War to end peacefully months after Reagan left office in 1989, represented Russia.

A bell tolled and rain fell as the hearse bearing Reagan's body arrived at the cathedral from Capitol Hill, where it had laid in state for two days while tens of thousands of people filed past. Onlookers lined the 6kms route from the Capitol to the Cathedral standing several rows deep. Police had to prevent the crowd spilling into the streets.

After the funeral, Reagan's body was to be flown back to California for a private sunset burial attended by family and special guests on the grounds of his presidential library overlooking desert hills just north of Los Angeles. Government departments, the New York Stock Exchange and many businesses were closed as Americans paused to pay tribute to their 40th president.

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