Nearly 1,000 guests, including first lady Michelle Obama and representatives from nine former White House families, gather for a memorial tribute to Nancy Reagan at her late husband's presidential library in Southern California. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Nearly 1,000 guests, led by first lady Michelle Obama and representatives from nine former White House families, gathered on Friday (March 11) for a memorial tribute to Nancy Reagan at her late husband's presidential library in Southern California. A military honor guard carried her flower-bedecked wooden casket to the front of a large white tent where Michelle Obama sat beside former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, and two fellow former first ladies - Jimmy Carter's wife, Rosalyn, and the Democratic front-runner in the 2016 presidential race, Hillary Clinton. Sitting nearby were two of the Reagans' children - her daughter Patti Davis and son, Ron Jr., along with Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late President John Kennedy. The service brought together Republicans and Democrats alike to pay final respects for a woman especially admired by political conservatives at a time when deep partisan rancor has reverberated through Washington and the 2016 presidential campaign. Early in the service, former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney recalled how the late President Ronald Reagan once joked to him privately about their respective wives, "You know, Brian, for two Irishmen, we sure married up." "Theirs was a love story for the ages," Mulroney said of the Reagans. "They had style, they had grace and they had class." In his eulogy, Reagan's former White House chief of staff James Baker remembered Nancy Reagan as the "consummate political wife and first lady" and a woman whose devotion to her husband was critical to his political success. The services for the onetime Hollywood actress and first lady capped two days during which thousands of mourners filed past her coffin as it lay in repose at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, north of Los Angeles. She was to be buried beside her husband in a private graveside service at the library Friday evening. Always fiercely protective of her husband, Nancy Reagan was regarded as one of the most influential presidential spouses in U.S. history during his Republican administration from 1981 to 1989. She died on Sunday of congestive heart failure at age 94. Ronald Reagan died in 2004 after a long struggle with Alzheimer's disease, the progressive brain disorder that destroys memory. He was 93.