U.S. Congress honors President Ronald Reagan with resolutionsU.S. Rep. David Wu, who represents the North Coast, recalls asking Ronald Reagan a tough question and admiring the way the future president answered.
The exchange took place dur-ing Wu's senior year at Stanford between the 1976 and 1980 presidential campaigns. College Republicans organized a gathering featuring the California governor.
"Gov. Reagan gave a very good speech, after which he took questions from the audience. I was one of those who asked a question. It was a challenging question. As I was going into the question, members of the audience started to boo. The moderator began to cut off my question. It was at this point that Mr. Reagan said, 'no, no, no, let's hear the young man out' and I had my say and he answered the question - to a standing ovation.
"But I think that it was that moment, that image of Mr. Reagan that I remember. His graciousness, his openness, his generosity of spirit, the willingness to hear people out, to hear debate. That is a sign of greatness in any individual. And they were lessons for that day almost 30 years ago, and they are lessons for the Washington in which we work today."
Wu, D-Ore., joined House colleagues in passing a resolution saying President Reagan "championed freedom and democracy throughout the world." Wednesday by a vote of 375-0. The Senate voted 98-0 to pass a resolution documenting Reagan's achievements through Hollywood and the California governor's office to the White House.
Vice President Dick Cheney hailed Reagan Wednesday as "a graceful and gallant man," in a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda opening the 34-hour period of Reagan's lying in state
House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., said, "It is altogether fitting and proper that he has returned to this Capitol Rotunda, like another great son of Illinois, Abraham Lincoln, so the nation can say goodbye."
Capitol Police weren't giving out official crowd estimates. But visitors split into two columns as they entered the viewing area, filing around both sides of the casket in a process that roughly doubled the pace that enabled approximately 106,000 to view the president during a 33-hour period at the Reagan library in California. The public viewing goes on continuously until Friday morning.
President Bush planned to come back from the Group of Eight meeting of leading industrial nations in Georgia today and, with his wife, Laura, call on Nancy Reagan.
Aides said Bush would visit the casket this evening. Bush and his father, who was Reagan's vice president and succeeded him in the White House, will be among the eulogists Friday.
At 10:15 a.m. Friday, at the conclusion of the state funeral, the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. will toll its bell 40 times in honor of the 40th president. Churches across the country plan to do the same.
The New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq Stock Market and American Stock Exchange will be closed Friday. Trading will resume Monday. Most U.S. commodities markets will be closed, although there will be some abbreviated trading in some contracts during the morning. Bond markets were expected to be closed. Currency trading was expected to continue, because many banks were expected to remain open.