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06-09-2004, 06:23 PM
Capitol Has a Scare Before Reagan Honors

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WASHINGTON - Lawmakers, dignitaries and mourners preparing for Ronald Reagan (news - web sites)'s funeral ceremony raced from the Capitol Wednesday after police feared an airplane was headed for the building and warned: "You have one minute to impact."

AP Photo

Within minutes, authorities determined the small plane was carrying Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher to the funeral and had lost its radio transmission after flying into restricted airspace around Washington. Two F-15 fighter jets were diverted from an air patrol to intercept the plane.

The building was reopened at around 4:30 p.m. EDT, about 1 1/2 hours before the start of the procession bringing Reagan's body to the Capitol Rotunda.

During the period of uncertainty, police had hustled House Speaker Dennis Hastert second in line to the presidency away in a secured motorcade.

Across the street, at the Supreme Court, police gathered several of the justices and whisked them away in cars. An alarm sounded, and officers yelled at workers: "To the basement, to the basement."

Police in the Capitol had urged people running down staircases to run faster. An officer shouted at one photographer trying to look back through a camera, "You don't have time to look back."

"Incoming plane!" another police officer shouted at reporters asking what was going on.

Women, many wearing formal dress for the Rotunda ceremony, kicked off high-heeled shoes to enable them to run faster.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, was on the third floor of the Capitol with her staff when the fire alarms first went off and they started walking out of the building. "We were walking until we were told to run, get out of the building," Murkowski said, as one of her staffers tried to find a lost intern. "I got a little exercise this afternoon."

The governor's Beech King Air 200 had permission to fly into the restricted airspace but briefly lost its identifying transponder signal 13 miles southwest of Reagan National Airport, said Greg Martin, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration (news - web sites

06-09-2004, 09:33 PM
This is going to be a common occurrence in light of 9-11 and our Homeland Security did what they must. I would think that Al-Qaeda would LOVE to hit us during this period of mourning for our President Reagan. I salute all of those men and women who are watching and keeping America safe during these times. Ronald Reagan was a GREAT man and he deserves to be eulogized and commemorated to the fullest extent.

God bless all of those who are watching out for Americans and I truly hope that the funeral for President Reagan goes off without a hitch. He deserves the BEST that the US can offer. I only wish that all politicians will wake up and take a lesson from him. Meanness is not RIGHT. Humility, confidence, love of country and grace is RIGHT. Our politicians need to take a lesson from Ronald Reagan. He loved this country and he conducted himself as a gentleman in every single race he ever entered. We all need to take a lesson from him. Don't let his death be in vain. Let's all learn from him. Love of country is paramount but we also have to realize that we are humans with a responsibility to be kind, self-effacing, and strong. Our angel, my hero, is gone now but he's never going to truly gone. We owe it to ourselves to do the right thing just as he asked us to do.


06-09-2004, 09:37 PM
well what is really sad is that are congress will morn now and all and after all this give it about a 2 of weeks and go back to whatever it was they where doing * Not Learning a Lesson from Regan!