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Thousands Visit Reagan Grave

A steady stream of admirers is making a pilgrimage to the grave site of former President Ronald Reagan (search), who died June 5 after battling Alzheimer's disease (searchfor a decade.

Visitors to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library have quadrupled since June 14, when the hilltop shrine reopened, library spokeswoman Melissa Giller said.

Three days earlier, Nancy Reagan said goodbye to her husband of 52 years during a poignant sunset burial.

The library usually gets 500 to 1,000 visitors a day, but attendance has averaged 3,867 people daily during the past two weeks, Giller said Wednesday.

The Ventura County landmark has expanded its hours until July 4 - the last day of the national mourning period.

On the Fourth of July, the library will debut its "Mourning in America" exhibit on the passing of the nation's 40th chief executive.

The exhibit, to run through Nov. 11, draws upon the public outpouring of sympathy for the Reagan family and the respect shown for the former commander in chief during the days from death to burial, Giller said.

In addition to dozens of stirring photographs, "Mourning in America" includes the black velvet-draped bier that supported Reagan's mahogany casket in Simi Valley (search); his favorite riding boots, which were placed backward in the stirrups of the riderless horse that was led to the Capitol on June 9; and the flag that flew over the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan on June 5.

The library foundation also is producing a DVD of the weeklong funeral events.

The library has been deluged with more than 15,000 letters and 162,000 condolence e-mails to its Web site. The Reagan office in Los Angeles also has received numerous cards and letters.