Remembrance of Former First Lady Nancy Reagan begins Wednesday

LOS ANGELES (KUSI) – Three days of remembrance began in Santa Monica Wednesday for former first lady Nancy Reagan with a private memorial for family before a motorcade procession transported her casket to the viewing site.

Nancy Reagan died in her sleep, Sunday at her home in Los Angeles due to congestive heart failure. She had been in poor health for some time and had recently gotten worse, Patti Davis, daughter of the first lady said in a statement.

“I appreciate the attention and prayers of people I will probably never meet. Just as when my father died, there is comfort in feeling surrounded by gentle thoughts and kind wishes, often sent out by strangers,” Davis said.

RELATED: Former first lady Nancy Reagan dies at the age of 94

While her casket was being transported via the I-405 North, people stood along overpasses to view the procession while some Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) stations displayed American flags along the route. As the procession turned onto the Ronald Reagan Freeway, LAFD firefighters paid their respects with a salute.

Hundreds attended the first lady’s casket viewing at Ronald Reagan’s Presidential Library in Simi Valley which lasted until 7 p.m. Wednesday and will resume 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday.

The casket was draped with yellow flowers and elevated on a pedestal in the museum’s lobby. The public was allowed to walk around black velvet ropes that encircled the casket.

The first lady will be buried next to her husband Friday at a private ceremony. Guests expected to attend include former first lady Hillary Clinton, current first lady Michelle Obama, Former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura Bush.

Nancy Reagan prepared many of her funeral arrangements and requested that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made the the Ronald Reagan Memorial Fund at, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation said.

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Nancy Reagan was credited as her husband’s, Former President Ronald Reagan, biggest adviser in matters of life and later as a caregiver after his diagnosis with Alzheimer’s disease until his death in 2004.

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