Friday, August 31, 2007
It was a day of national mourning; an unusual outpouring of emotion and affection for the man who had died. The final farewell to former President Ronald Reagan began with official funeral observances in the nation's Capitol: the long, all-night lines of everyday Americans paying their respects at his coffin in the Capitol Rotunda, the highest officials of the land paying tribute to the former President, the memorial service in the National Cathedral, and then that final journey on Air Force One to a family service at his ranch in California. One of the more moving moments of a day with many such moments was when Air Force jets flew over in what is known as the "missing man maneuver." Clusters of jets flew overhead, with one jet in the final cluster suddenly peeling up, away, and out of sight. That's a symbol that says a lot.