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State Funeral for Ronald Reagan Planned for Friday - 2004-06-06


A state funeral for former President Ronald Reagan will be held Friday at the National Cathedral in Washington.

A spokeswoman for the Reagan family announced the funeral plans today (Sunday). She says Mr. Reagan's body will be flown from California to Washington late Tuesday, and will lie in state in the capitol building Wednesday and Thursday.

President Reagan died at his home in California Saturday at the age of 93, after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. His wife Nancy and the couple's two children (Ron and Patti) were at his side.

The spokeswoman said Mrs. Reagan is grateful for the outpouring of sympathy the family has received, but she is also relieved that her husband is no longer suffering. Alzheimer's had affected the former president's brain with increasing severity over the past 10 years.

In France, President Bush praised Mr. Reagan for his role in ending the Cold War and restoring America's sense of self-confidence. Mr. Bush hailed Mr. Reagan as a "gallant leader in the cause of freedom."

Mr. Reagan was shot during a March 1981 assassination attempt, but survived to complete two terms in the White House.

Mr. Reagan was a radio sportscaster and a popular film actor before he turned to politics-- first as governor of California. He was elected the 40th U.S. president in 1980.

Mr. Reagan's administration was marked by sweeping changes in U.S. domestic policy that favored business and curtailed government spending on social welfare programs. But the former president may be best remembered for his strong stand against communism.

Information for this report is provided by AP.

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