The Nation remembers the legacy of Lady Bird Johnson

by Jay Gray
NBC News

A weekend of tributes and memorials to honor former first lady Lady Bird Johnson began at the Wildflower Center she created that now bears her name on Friday.

"Mother nature knows something very special is happening.  Our flowers have never looked this beautiful in this month," said Wildflower Center's Communication Director, Saralee Tiede.

Her simple pine coffin was draped in the flowers she loved so much as family and friends celebrated a life of elegance and grace and a woman who at 94 still shared her love for nature.

"Lady Bird saw the world through a pure heart that awakened her to see beauty wherever and whenever it appeared," said Reverend Stephen Kinney.

As her casket moved into the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library a tearful family hugged, clutched and kissed the coffin.

The public also got their chance to say a final goodbye to a beautiful legacy that will still blossom for years to come.

Every living first lady and several other dignitaries will travel to Austin for private service Saturday morning.

Lady Bird Johnson will be laid to rest Sunday in the Texas hill country.