WASHINGTON — To the accompaniment of marching bands, a 19-gun salute and a flyover by the U.S. military's most modern aircraft, President Reagan today bade "a bittersweet" farewell to retiring Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger.
"Cap Weinberger started as a buck private and he never forgot his origins," Reagan said of his longtime friend and political confidant.
Both Reagan and Weinberger, one of the longest-reigning defense chiefs with nearly seven years in office, wiped their eyes during the hourlong array of salutes, troop reviews and martial music.
"How many times, in that Oval Office or in the Cabinet Room, have I waited to hear that patient voice," Reagan said of Weinberger.
"Well, this old soldier isn't going to fade away," Reagan said. "And if it's all right, I'm still going to rely on your advice."