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Americans Celebrate Nancy Reagan's Life and Greatest Love

03-10-2016
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Americans and dignitaries from around the world celebrated the life of Nancy Reagan Friday with prayers, music and memories of the former first lady.

A diverse group of guests attended Friday's funeral at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

Among the attendees were former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, as well as first lady Michelle Obama. Also present are presidential candidate and former first lady Hillary Clinton and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney read an adoring letter written by Ronald Reagan to his wife on their first Christmas in the White House in 1981.

"Her laugh is like tinkling bells and I hear those bells and I feel good all over," Ronald Reagand has written in the letter.

She filled his entire life with "warmth and love," Mulroney said.

Veteran television journalists Diane Sawyer shared the Bible verse John 14:1-6 in honor of Mrs. Reagan. She also recounted an interview she had with her after the death of her husband in 2004.

"Make no mistake, she would bop a journalist, and I mean bop any journalist in this room. And we know this, if she didn't like a report you had done," Sawyer recalled.

Former Reagan administration official James Baker recounted his first meeting with then-Nancy Davis and Ronald Reagan. He also reflected on her devastation when her husband was wounded in an assassination attempt.

Veteran NBC anchor Tom Brokaw described her as the adoring wife of Reagan and one who was not to be underestimated.

"But behind the scenes she was a politically astute analyst and the keeper of the flames," he said.

Her daughter Patti Davis shared that her mother's fiece determination was ferocious throughtout her life.

"Even God might not have the guts to argue with Nancy Reagan," she said. "We were never mild with one another whether distant and angry or bonded and close, our emotions burned up the color chart, nothing was ever gray."

"There was moments in our history that all that was between us was love and I choose to remember those moments," she said.

Her son, Ron Prescott Reagan told the guests there likely would not have been a President Ronald Reagan without Nancy Reagan, saying she had an absolute belief in him, as well as provided guidance and a refuge.

"My mother had one great talent and that was to love," he said.

Earlier in the week, the public lined up for two days to pay their last respects Mrs. Reagan at her husband's library in Simi Valley.

"A lot of respect for the Reagans and for Nancy..." said Linda Latouche of Orange, California.

"This lady meant a lot... and I've seen her do wonderful things for the community," remarked Tracy Reyes of Los Angeles.

CBS LA reports both Nancy and her husband were involved in the Bel-Air Presbyterian Church in California and often gave time, money and clothing to help the poor.

"I have smiled thinking about the here may be a homeless man or woman downtown wearing Ronald Reagan’s boots or Mrs. Reagan's jacket or shirt because they generously gave from what they had," Pastor Care Crawford recalled. Read more here.

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