Flags are back at full-staff now a month after Ronald Reagan’s death June 5, but the push for a piece of history continues … on eBay, where folks are buying and selling items from the 40th president’s funerary rites.
The online auction site eBay, based in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />San Jose, Calif., has sold 780 pieces of Reagan funeral memorabilia totaling $66,000 since June 11, Associated Press reported.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
More than a month after Reagan died at age 93, an eBay search for “Reagan funeral” pulls up more than 60 items still for sale.
Items include CDs of the state funeral and eulogies, numerous framed photographs of the various services, “gratitude cards” distributed to those who visited the president’s casket at the presidential library, and even a funeral invitation and seating ticket for the National Cathedral service June 11.
AP reported that a program from that service turned up at eBay just hours after the service ended. It sold for more than $1,500.
“Personally, I find it very sad,” Melissa Giller, chief of staff at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation in Simi Valley, told AP. “If you were fortunate enough to be able to receive one of the items, I would think you’d want to keep them.”
However, “The president believed in economic opportunity and the free market,” she continued.
An individual auctioning one of the funeral invitations said the invitation is “perfect for framing or storing away for the future. Good luck on buying this piece of history.”
Some items are selling for as little as a couple of dollars, with others bringing bidding wars pushing prices into the hundreds of dollars
A 12-page funeral program from the National Cathedral service was going for $127.
And Reagan isn’t the only deceased president whose funeral memorabilia has turned up on eBay. Also for sale is a yellow “RN” button issued in conjunction with Richard Nixon’s burial in Yorba Linda, Calif., on April 27, 1994.
Cliff Vaughn is culture editor for EthicsDaily.com.