Washington pays tribute to memory of fallen leader

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The Independent US

On a sweaty, sweltering evening, Ronald Reagan's coffin was brought to Washington as thousands of people lined the streets to watch the horse-drawn carriage carrying his body make its way to the Capitol where it will lie in state until his funeral ceremony tomorrow.

On a sweaty, sweltering evening, Ronald Reagan's coffin was brought to Washington as thousands of people lined the streets to watch the horse-drawn carriage carrying his body make its way to the Capitol where it will lie in state until his funeral ceremony tomorrow.

Despite temperatures in the 90s, the route taken by the motorcade was lined with countless numbers of people who turned out to pay their respects to the 40th US president.

A Boeing 747 from the White House fleet carried the former president from California, where more than 100,000 people had filed passed his casket as it lay in the Reagan Presidential library in Simi Valley. It is expected that as many, if not more, will do the same in Washington.

Mr Reagan's body was delivered to the White-domed Capitol building in an early evening procession on Constitution Avenue, a horse-drawn carriage carrying the casket while a fly-over of fighter planes roared overhead.

The former president's wife, Nancy, received applause and shouts of support as she watched an honour guard lift the coffin out of the hearse. She in turn smiled and raised her hand. A riderless horse with a pair of Mr Reagan's own riding boots lodged backwards in its stirrups to symbolise the fallen leader, followed the carriage.

Carol Willims from Chesterfield, Virginia, was the first of the public to view the coffin in the Capitol. "They didn't live in Camelot, they lived in reality with the rest of us," she said.

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