Reagan’s Procession

Posted by barb on Jun 9, 2004 in Random Thoughts |

I got caught watching a bit of the procession of former President Reagan’s body while rewinding a tape, and was touched by a couple things. First, let me just say that I’m not a Republican, and that, frankly, I was too young during his presidency to really form an opinion of him as a President and as a man. I do respect him for coming forward 10 years ago to announce that he had alzheimer’s, but other than that don’t really have an opinion of him.

But as I watched the procession — the part where the military pall bearers were conveying the casket from the caisson to the Captiol’s routunda — I felt for Nancy. This is what would normally be, for a family, a private time where she could lean on family members. Instead, she is escorted by a member of the military and paraded in front of cameras from media around the country…nay, around the world. While I realize that much of their lives was spend in front of the media, a moment like this is difficult enough when surrounded by family. I cannot imagine going through it surrounded by the media. I feel for Nancy, whether or not I mourn Reagan’s passing.

The other thing that occured to me was that I would hate to be one of the military members chosen to carry the casket. I realize that it’s a huge honor, and those men must feel priviledged to be a part of the procession. However, I have served as a pall bearer once. It was for my baby nephew, who died from SIDS. The two nights between agreeing to be a pall bearer and the funeral, I had the most horrific nightmares about dropping the casket and ruining the funeral. I can only imagine the kinds of nightmares that might be had by a pall bearer for a former United States President.

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