NEWS | March 8, 2016

Ronald Reagan Sailors Remember First Lady Nancy Reagan

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Burke, USS Ronald Reagan Public Affairs

YOKOSUKA, Japan - Sailors aboard the U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) honored the legacy of first lady Nancy Reagan, March 7.

A moment of silence was observed at approximately 7:15 a.m. to remember the ship’s sponsor and wife of the ship’s namesake President Ronald Reagan, who passed away Sunday in her home in Bel-Air, California at the age of 94.

“She was the commissioning sponsor of USS Ronald Reagan,” said Capt. Chris Bolt, Ronald Reagan’s commanding officer.  “And grounded in Navy tradition, she decorated the Captain’s in-port cabin and designed it based on her favorite room at the White House. It is an elegant room that is clearly identifiable as being Nancy Reagan. We will be reminded of her often as we show this room to visiting dignitaries, and as each captain works here when not out to sea. She is a great lady who will be missed. Our condolences go out to the Reagan family, but our prayers are for joy that she is now reunited with the love of her life. They made a terrific team.”

According to Bolt, Mrs. Reagan maintained a continued interest throughout the ship’s service since it was christened in 2001 and commissioned in 2003.

“She welcomed me on my first day in command with a personal letter of congratulations,” said Bolt. “I was inspired by her elegance and heartfelt style. She continued to keep in touch with the crew of ‘her ship’ during the last two and a half years during my time as commanding officer. She personally corresponded with all the commanding officers of USS Ronald Reagan. I will keep and cherish her letters to me.”

Ronald Reagan Sailors also lowered the Ensign to half-mast to recognize the loss of Mrs. Reagan.

The Reagan's met Nov. 15, 1949 and married March 4, 1952. Mrs. Reagan supported her husband through two terms as the governor of California, as well as two terms in the White House from 1981 to 1989. The couple remained married for 52 years until the passing of President Reagan in 2004 after his 10-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She is survived by daughter Patricia Ann and sons Ronald and Michael.

USS Ronald Reagan, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, provides a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.