Jun 11, 2004

I woke up early this morning so that I could watch the funeral at National Cathedral. Seeing the procession on Wednesday really touched me and peaked my interest. It was a drizzly cool day here in DC... kind of fitting for the events, actually. The ceremony was good and the speeches were good. I thought Thatcher’s comments were very good but my favorite was Bush 41’s. You could tell that he had an emotional connection to the Reagan – after all, Bush was Reagan’s VP for eight years. It was obvious that Bush 41 wrote his own speech – and it was plainly obvious that Bush 43 didn’t lay a hand on his speech – his speech writers concocted it for him. It was devoid of emotion but was all business. I just liked Bush 41’s better. I watched the events as they loaded the casket on to the 474 and took off for CA. It is amazing how punctual the events have been so far. They have been on time for every event so far.

I went shopping during the day in the misty rain. It was cool and dreary – but I actually liked it. I like cold weather, you know. I made it back in time to catch the 747 landing in CA and the procession to Semi Valley. I was taken aback by the views of the motorcade on the freeway on the way to Semi Valley. Cars in the opposite lane of traffic were stopped. It was a Friday afternoon, at rush hour, and these people had completely stopped on the freeway to pay their respects. The entire freeway was a parking lot! It truly was a strange sight! The funeral ceremony at the burial site was not quite as touching as at the cathedral in DC. None of the speeches stood out for me. What did finally get me was when they folded up the flag that was draped over the casket all week long. This flag had been from coast to coast and had been seen by hundreds of thousands of people on both coasts, including me! The flag was given to Nancy and she finally had a chance to approach the wooden casket where she finally broke into tears as her children rushed to comfort her. This woman had carried herself so well in front on the public all week, and everything finally culminated into this final moment. I was choked up at the sight of this strong woman finally releasing some of the sadness that she had perhaps withheld from public view all week long. It seemed inappropriate that we were able to share in that moment with her. It also seemed too short… almost as if her kids had pulled her away. I’m sure she could have spent much more time there with her husband. I feel sorry for her and hope that she was eventually able to express and release all the emotions that she was and is feeling. She is a strong woman – I truly respect her for being able to cope through the past ten years and especially through this past week.

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