The great love story of President Ronald Reagan and his wife, former first lady Nancy Reagan, was the prevailing theme of the afternoon as she was laid to rest Friday.
The funeral was held at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California. Reagan, known for her vocal and loyal support of her husband, the 40th U.S. president, and her Just Say No anti-drug campaign, died at 94 from congestive heart failure in her Bel Air, California, home on Sunday.
Attendees included current first lady Michelle Obama, former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, former first ladies Rosalynn Carter and Hillary Clinton, and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The services included a dedication from former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. "There are several much beloved women in my life, and on Christmas I should be giving them all gold and pearls and lace," read Mulroney from a letter written by President Reagan to his wife on Christmas in 1981, describing a mother and wife and fierce first lady. "Fortunately, all these women in my life are you. Fortunately for me, because there could be no life for me without you."
Watch Mulroney read Reagan's love letter below:
Later, the Reagans’ two children, Patti Davis and Ronald Prescott Reagan, offered remembrances of their mother.
"It is no secret that my mother and I had a difficult and contentious relationship," Davis said. "But there were moments in our history when all we could feel was love. I choose to remember those moments."
"There would be no Ronald Reagan Presidential Library without President Ronald Reagan," his son added, referencing the venue. "And there likely would not have been a President Ronald Reagan without Nancy Reagan."
Other speakers included journalist Diane Sawyer; James Baker, the former chief of staff to President Reagan; and journalist Tom Brokaw. Children of past presidents also attended the funeral, including Caroline Kennedy, Lynda Bird Johnson Robb, Luci Baines Johnson, Tricia Nixon Cox and Steven Ford.
Many of the speakers highlighted moments that painted the Reagans as a couple deeply in love and at times inseparable almost from the moment they met — when then-actress Nancy Reagan went to then-head of the Screen Actors Guild Ronald Reagan with concerns about being blacklisted, as Baker described in his remembrance.
"My mother often spoke about getting back to her husband," Davis said. President Reagan died in 2004 after a 10-year battle with Alzheimer's disease.
As Nancy Reagan's body was brought into the library for the service, the Rev. Stuart Kenworthy, who presided, read from John 11:26 — "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies." The procession was followed by a performance of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," sung by the Santa Susana High School Choir, and a reading of Proverbs 31 by Anne Peterson, Nancy Reagan's niece.
Reagan is to be laid to rest next to her husband in a hillside tomb that faces the Pacific Ocean.