Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Anything For A Buck

The Press Speaks:

Reagan Funeral Items Selling Fast on eBay
Tue Jul 6, 8:46 AM ET

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A month after Ronald Reagan's death, items from the 40th president's funeral, burial and weeklong public viewing are selling fast on the online auction site eBay.

The company, based in San Jose, has sold 780 pieces of Reagan funeral memorabilia since June 11 for a total of $66,000. The items range from programs from Reagan's interment at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley to gratitude cards given to mourners who visited his casket.

The best selling items have been those from the star-studded National Cathedral service in Washington, D.C., which was attended by President Bush, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Bill Clinton and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

One funeral program that went online just hours after the service sold for $1,525. Another sold for $1,075 the next morning.

"Personally, I find it very sad. If you were fortunate enough to be able to receive one of the items, I would think you'd want to keep them," said Melissa Giller, chief of staff at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation in Simi Valley.

But she added, "The president believed in economic opportunity and the free market."

Katie Gray, 18, of Oak Park said she hopes to get up to $500 for a program from Reagan's interment that she received from a reporter friend who covered the event.

"I'd really love to keep it, but I'm putting the money toward my education," said Gray, who will be attending Harvard University in the fall. Gray said her brother received $500 for his program.

Reagan died June 5 after battling Alzheimer's disease for a decade.

Jasper Speaks:

Now most of you know I went through my eBaying phase a few weeks ago but this is ridiculous! It saddens me that people would auction off pieces of history (let a lone a man's life) to make a buck. We have lost touch with history in a lot of ways. The selling of stuff on eBay seems to take a higher place than preserving the past for our future. I know I sound like I am on a high horse but I didn't mention much on here when Ronald Reagan passed away. He was the last great American President and here are people who are profiting off his death. Shame!

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