On Jane 9, 2004, Ronald Regan made his final journey to Washington, DC, the city he had vowed to transform when he arrived as the nation's fortieth President nearly a quarter of a century before. His death four days earlier, after a decade of decline into Alzheimer's, while not unexpected, still shocked and saddened the United States. Americans turned out in force to pay their last respects to the man who had transformed their nation and the world. The crowds on that steamy summer day, six to eight deep along Constitution Avenue, waited hours to pay tribute as the caisson bearing the President's coffin passed by, accompanied by the symbolic riderless horse with Reagan's boots backwards in the stirrups.

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Copyright © 2007 The Times Literary Supplement Limited. This article first appeared in The Times Literary Supplement (London), July 27, 2007, Politics & Biography section.

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