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Ronald Reagan Statue Unveiled in Capitol Rotunda

June 3, 2009 at 6:50 PM EDT
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi presided over a ceremony unveiling a statue of former President Ronald Reagan at the Capitol Rotunda, which 87-year-old former first lady Nancy Reagan attended.

JIM LEHRER: And finally tonight, the unveiling of a bronze statue of the nation’s 40th president, Ronald Reagan.

Friends and family, including the 87-year-old former first lady, gathered in the Capitol Rotunda for today’s ceremony. And here’s an excerpt, beginning with comments from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-Calif., speaker of the House: The unveiling of a statue in the Capitol is always exciting, but rarely are we able to do it in the presence of an immediate family member. It’s usually about history.

Today it is a great privilege for all of us — for all of us — to be joined by the former first lady, Mrs. Ronald Reagan, Nancy Reagan. We’re honored by your presence.

NANCY REAGAN, former First Lady of the United States: The statue is a wonderful likeness of Ronnie, and he would be so proud. You know, the last time that I was in this room was for Ronnie’s service, so it’s nice to be back under happier circumstances.

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, the statue of President Ronald Reagan.

JIM LEHRER: President Reagan lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda, where the statue now stands. He died in 2004 at the age of 93.