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Mixed emotions in Reagan farewell


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Crowds file past Reagan's casket in California.

Reagan and Pope John Paul II shared battles.

Mikhail Gorbachev and Reagan: Cold War foes who came together.
REAGAN MEMORIALS
Wednesday


8 a.m. PT Nancy Reagan and family arrive at the Reagan Library

8:15 a.m. PT
Departure ceremony

8:30 a.m. PT
Motorcade departs the Reagan Library

9 a.m. PT
Departure ceremony at Naval Base Ventura County/Point Mugu

9:30 a.m. PT
Aircraft departs Naval Base Ventura County/Point Mugu

5 p.m. ET Aircraft arrives at Andrews Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland

6 p.m. ET
Formal funeral procession to the U.S. Capitol

7 p.m. ET
State funeral ceremony in rotunda of the U.S. Capitol

8:30 p.m. ET
Lying in state begins in rotunda of the U.S. Capitol for public to pay respects and continues through the night
YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
Ronald Wilson Reagan
White House

(CNN) -- CNN.com asked its users to reflect on the death of Ronald Reagan and share their memories of the former president.

Thousands of e-mails were received from around the world. Here is a sampling of responses, some of which have been edited. Send in your thoughts.

Robert Tulloch from Munith, Michigan:

My earliest political memory of President Reagan was as governor of California. I was in Berkeley, and he had just reinstated the death penalty. I was a lunatic lefty at the time and was outraged. I painted "Reagan Is a Murderer" in red paint on the side of my car. After People's Park and all the demonstrations, I finally came to my senses, saw the error of my ways and became a Reagan supporter. ... Thanks President Reagan for saving me from myself.

Luis from Fayetteville, North Carolina:

I loved Reagan, don't get me wrong. ... I am wondering why is it that there are only white military members guarding his body? ... I was watching when they were taking him from California to the car. I could count on one hand the number of minorities. ... By the way I am writing you from Iraq right now, and yes I am a Hispanic, Puerto Rican to be exact.

T. from Las Vegas, Nevada:

Ronald Reagan was the first president I ever voted for. Years after he was out of office, I happened to live on [a ranch] on the same road as the Reagans. They had a long time ago signed their names in the cement by the swimming pool. He was truly an American.

Sadek Mosaad Labib from Cairo, Egypt:

I wish to be like this man. Goodbye, Reagan.

Susan Gilmore from Allen, Texas:

What will Ronald Reagan be most remembered for? Please add a crippling national debt that took over a decade to fix to your poll.

Alice Trotter from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe:

If President Reagan was in power in the '70s, if the [Berlin] Wall had fallen in 1979, Africa would have been a better place. But at least Eastern Europe had the fruit of his policies. Farewell Ronald Reagan, you deserve a high place in history.

Zai-chen Yang from Taichung, Taiwan:

He is the treasure of the world, not [just the] U.S.A.

Chris from Normal, Illinois:

It amuses me that the dreamers among Ronnie's admirers must speak in glowing general terms, while we critics can point to concrete specifics of his failings. ...

Edward Tsang from Hong Kong:

I have mixed feelings about the death of Mr. Reagan. I feel sad for the death of a great president and a great man. On the other hand, his death means the end of long-term suffering, both for him and his family. And this is truly a blessing. Alzheimer's disease is affecting so many people all over the world from all walks of life that maybe the death of such a great man will awaken the world that we need to devote more resources toward this illness.

Felix Sheehan from Windsor, Connecticut:

Even though I was a very young man when President Reagan took office, he seemed to be a motivating force in the country. He saw the need for the military to be stronger and made it the best in the world. I think he also brought back the confidence of the American people. He seemed like a very nice man. ... He handled his responsibilities well and served the country to the best of his abilities.

I. Moreda from Miami, Florida:

Since 9/11, my opinion of the media, especially television news, has grown increasingly negative. I had to turn to the Internet to learn more about Saudi Arabia and oil because of the dismal reporting on those subjects after 9/11. And watching the Bush/Reagan cheerleading these past years [and] days has reminded me again of what a waste of time you are. I have already given up on the major networks and MSNBC. Now I will give up on you.

Mike Balint from Cottage Grove, Minnesota:

President Reagan had the wonderful ability to deflect criticism by making himself the butt of a one-liner. His age, work ethic, intellect, etc., were made issues by his opponents and neutralized by his humor. Today's politicians would do well to check their ego at the door and laugh at themselves as Reagan did.

Joe FitzPatrick from Hardin, Montana:

I am 50 years old. R.R. was the greatest president of the United States in my lifetime, maybe [the] best ever. I was in the military under his predecessor, and we felt like world punks. When the Gipper took the helm, we had a commander in chief. He was a great man.

John P. Anderson from Washington, D.C.:

Just before bed, I stopped by a bar in a hotel in Atlantic City early Sunday morning. The bartender was watching retrospectives of Reagan while cleaning up. As he handed me a beer, the bartender motioned to the screen and, shaking his head, said, "You know, it was real scary back then, and when he took office, that guy [Reagan] made us all feel safe again. I'll always remember him for that." I share that bartender's sentiment.

Eduardo Silva from Westminster, California:

I would like to thank President Reagan for the support he gave to the Contras and the rest of the oppressed nations. Thank you, Mr. President. May God give you his grace. Truly, Eduardo E. Silva, a Nicaraguan political refugee, June 27, 1979.

Mark Davis from Fenton, Missouri:

When, in my freshman year of college, President Reagan came for what was ostensibly a campaign effort for George H.W. Bush, I did everything I could, short of joining the Young Republicans, to get near where he would be. I was successful and stood a mere 40 feet from where Ronald Reagan spoke to me. I say he spoke to me, but he spoke individually to every person in that 8,000-seat arena. That was his power.

Sarah Tamor from Santa Monica, California:

If Nancy Reagan uses her bully pulpit to lobby for federal funding for stem cell research, great. Maybe her activism on this subject can help repair the damage her husband's administration did to millions of people.

David Johnson from Miami, Florida:

I was 11 years old when President Reagan took office. My parents were high school-educated and were government employees. We struggled through his tenure. ... I also remember that this was a time when it became vogue to lay off employees and and to outsource (what we call it today) jobs overseas [to] improve profit margins. The tax cuts that were implemented had little to no impact on us. My parents struggled but made ends meet the best they could. I offer my sincere condolences to the Reagan family for their loss, but I have no positive memories about the Reagan presidency.

Joanne Urish from Glasford, Illinois:

My heart aches when I see the president's family. My aunt died with the same disease. I am a Reagan Democrat and proud of it. He belongs with the greatest leaders of all times and is surely the best president this country has ever had. He had all of the qualities that are needed to lead a nation. He is sorely missed and loved by all. May God bless his family and give them peace.

Martin Honeycutt from Dallas, Texas:

I was in the Navy during President Reagan's first term. His leadership and direction made me proud to serve for America. Some people complain about his domestic policies, but this is far better than America living under communist dictatorship. God Bless you, Mr. President. I salute you.

Cathy Behrll from Peoria, Illinois:

We are beginning a grass-roots effort to show our respect for Ronald Reagan, a fellow Illinoisan. On Friday, at 10:30 a.m. (the time of his funeral service in Washington) until 5:30 p.m. (the time he will be interred in California), turn on your porch light.

Todd from Louisville, Kentucky:

I believe that when the dust settles and historians look back on the Reagan years they will discover that Pope John Paul II made far and away more of a contribution to the end of the Cold War than the late president. Ronald Reagan smiled a lot, had a great delivery when telling jokes and played the role to the hilt. After Jimmy Carter, anybody would have looked good.

V. Acevedo from San Dimas, California:

He appeared to have been a very nice man with a great sense of humor. The effectiveness of his decisions/presidency has yet to be determined. History will be the judge of that. It is a pity however that the one thing I will always remember him for is the creation of a radical conservative movement filled with hate for people who don't agree with their views. He meant well, but the extremists/opportunists have taken advantage and twisted some of his ideas and thus divided our nation. He had a dream that turned sour.

Janet Friesecke from Fort Lauderdale, Florida:

I disagreed with almost everything he stood for, and so many of his policies, in hindsight, have been proven sorrowfully wrong. However, I think your coverage is what it should be. He made millions happy. People liked him. He won twice by the voters' choice. I can respect that.

Diane Krieger from Rolling Hills Estates, California:

I'm a news junkie. I try to cut back, but nothing works. Nothing, that is, until Reagan's death. The media blitz (how long is the line now? How many have come to stare at his casket to date?) has helped me tune out almost completely. Suddenly, I have all this free time. Thanks, CNN.

Terry McQuade from Bloomfield, New Jersey:

I think President Reagan did a lot for this country, plus he did it with a superior sense of humor. In crisis he was like a grandfather; for example, after the Challenger explosion, he reached out to a shocked nation and gave all an embracing hug.


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