NECMF

Mar 10, 2016 12:06 AM

The Latest: More than 3,000 pay respects to Nancy Reagan

The Associated Press

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (AP) The Latest on the death of Nancy Reagan (all times local):

8 p.m.

The last of the first day's visitors have paid tribute to Nancy Reagan at a public viewing at her casket.

Some 3,115 visitors paid their respects Wednesday to the former first lady who lies in repose at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library where her funeral will be held on Friday.

The visitors left with cards with Nancy Reagan's monogram in her signature red. They said "With Gratitude for Your Expression of Sympathy in Honoring the Life of Nancy Davis Reagan."

Many left behind messages of their own on sheets of paper on long tables in a courtyard near the entrance.

One person from Pasadena wrote, "God bless Mrs. Reagan and the Reagan family. You and president Reagan will forever be in our hearts. Thank you for your love of our great country."

Another message was signed by a family in Norwalk who said they came "from Central America arriving in early 1980s. We now live the true American dream. Gracias."

The public viewing continues Thursday before Friday's funeral.

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5 p.m.

About 1,500 people had visited Nancy Reagan's casket at a public viewing and more than 1,000 were still waiting to see her, but the setting as visitors stood before the casket was quiet and intimate.

The groups in the room with Mrs. Reagan at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library were kept deliberately small, and people said they had no sense of being rushed or hustled through as they stood before the casket.

One man, Daniel Blatt, was crying as he walked away. He said it was the thought of the Reagans' love story that moved him.

Another woman, Mariann Tatum, visited twice, once at the beginning of the viewing and again with her daughter about three hours later. Tatum lives in Simi Valley where the library is located and said the Reagans are part of life in the community.

Library officials said they had to increase the number of buses taking visitors to the hilltop library from 10 to 15 to handle all the people wanting to pay respects.

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3:40 p.m.

More than 1,000 people paid their respects in person to the late former first lady Nancy Reagan in the first two hours of a public viewing.

Officials at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, said 1,016 members of the public passed by Nancy Reagan's casket between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Wednesday.

The figure doesn't include family and friends who have also paid their respects.

Many more people are still waiting to take part in the viewing that continues until 7 p.m. and resumes on Thursday.

Shuttle buses are bringing mourners a few dozen at a time to the hilltop presidential library.

Nancy Reagan died Sunday at her Los Angeles home. She was 94.

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2:30 p.m.

Members of the public paying respects to the late former first lady Nancy Reagan tend to be from an older generation, with a few younger people passing by her casket at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

Roy Dillard brought several generations of his family from Bakersfield, California, on Wednesday. The 80-year-old Dillard says he considers Ronald Reagan to be the greatest president of his lifetime.

Dillard was accompanied by his daughters Bobbie Eldridge and Tina Choate and his 3-year-old great-granddaughter, Tatum.

Retired schoolteacher Mary Ellen Gruendyke traveled from her home 100 miles east in Riverside, California.

She says she also considers Reagan to have been one of the nation's best presidents and she admires him and Nancy Reagan for their love story and the support they showed each other.

Each person who passes by the former first lady's casket departs with a card that says, "With gratitude for your expression of sympathy in honoring the life of Nancy Davis Reagan."

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1:45 p.m.

Members of the public have begun paying their respects to the late former first lady Nancy Reagan.

Shuttle buses are bringing mourners to the hilltop Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, where her casket was brought earlier Wednesday by motorcade from a Los Angeles-area funeral home.

Members of the public must park at a remote location, and the shuttles are timed so that the library lobby where the casket has been placed never becomes full.

Most people stay just a few minutes, and some wipe away tears.

A local police officer and a firefighter in dress uniform form an honor guard.

After two days of public viewing, a private funeral will be held Friday.

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12:15 p.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has paid his respects to the late former first lady Nancy Reagan after the arrival of her casket at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

Ryan approached the casket Wednesday, bowed his head in prayer and made the sign of the cross before leaving.

Earlier, a motorcade brought the casket to the library from a funeral home in Santa Monica after a brief service attended by about 20 members of Nancy Reagan's family and close friends.

The public will be allowed to file past the casket Wednesday afternoon and Thursday.

Only invited guests will attend Friday's funeral. Ryan's office says he cannot attend due to schedule conflicts.

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11:20 a.m.

Members of the armed services have carried Nancy Reagan's casket into her late husband's presidential library in Simi Valley, California.

Prayers are being offered in a private ceremony.

The public will be allowed to pay respects Wednesday afternoon and on Thursday before Friday's funeral, which will be closed to the public.

Earlier, people watched from freeway overpasses as a motorcade carried the casket from a funeral home in the Los Angeles suburb of Santa Monica to the Ronald Reagan Presidential.

Spectators also lined the road leading to the hilltop library. Some held up flags or stood with hands over their hearts.

Nancy Reagan died Sunday at her Los Angeles home. She was 94.

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11:10 a.m.

A motorcade carrying former first lady Nancy Reagan's casket has reached the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

Hundreds of people watched Wednesday along the road leading to the library in hill country northwest of Los Angeles.

The public will be allowed to pay respects Wednesday afternoon and Thursday before Friday's funeral.

Earlier, family and close friends attended a brief service at a Santa Monica mortuary before beginning her final journey. Nancy Reagan died Sunday at her Los Angeles home. She was 94.

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10:45 a.m.

A motorcade carrying Nancy Reagan's casket to her late husband's presidential library northwest of Los Angeles has turned onto the Ronald Reagan Freeway, a state route named in his honor in the 1990s.

The California Highway Patrol is running a rolling closure of freeway onramps on Wednesday as the hearse and other vehicles in the procession head from a mortuary in Santa Monica to the library in Simi Valley.

Earlier, about 20 members of the former first lady's family and close friends attended a brief, private service at the funeral home as several hundred onlookers gathered on a nearby boulevard.

Nancy Reagan died Sunday at her Los Angeles home. She was 94.

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10:10 a.m.

A brief, private service attended by Nancy Reagan's relatives has ended and her casket has been transferred from a Santa Monica, California, funeral home to a hearse for a motorcade to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

The motorcade has now begun the 45-mile drive to the library in hill country northwest of Los Angeles. The route includes a stretch of State Route 118, which has been named the Ronald Reagan Freeway since the 1990s.

The public will be allowed to pay respects Wednesday afternoon and Thursday before Friday's funeral.

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9:30 a.m.

Nancy Reagan's daughter, Patti Davis, has arrived for a brief service at a Santa Monica, California, mortuary before a motorcade takes her mother's casket to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.

Other family members are expected for the Wednesday morning service conducted by the Rev. Stuart Kenworthy, vicar of Washington National Cathedral, who will also officiate at Friday's funeral.

A few dozen onlookers have gathered outside, including several from Providence St. John's Health Center across the street.

Medical assistant Jeanie Maurello remembered the former first lady as very classy and recalls her "Just Say No" anti-drug campaign.

After the motorcade reaches the presidential library, public viewing will begin at 1 p.m.

___

6 a.m.

Katie Couric, Chris Matthews, Newt Gingrich, Wayne Newton and Mr. T will be among the mourners attending Friday's funeral for Nancy Reagan.

Three days of solemn ceremonies for the former first lady begin Wednesday.

The Ronald Reagan Foundation says a private family service Wednesday morning will be conducted by The Rev. Stuart Kenworthy, vicar of Washington National Cathedral, who will also officiate the funeral.

Public viewings are scheduled at the presidential library from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday.

Also attending Friday's service will be Capt. Christopher Bolt, commanding officer of the USS Ronald Reagan.

Nancy Reagan will be laid to rest next to President Ronald Reagan on the grounds of the library.

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