ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - Family, friends and employees went to the
nation's most hallowed burial grounds Tuesday to bid farewell to
Sen. Robert C. Byrd.
His casket was carried into Memorial Baptist Church by a
military honor guard, and a line formed for the late morning
service in this Washington-area suburb. A single red rose, a spray
of white ones and the twang of a bluegrass banjo were in the midst
as mourners gathered inside a church.
The 92-year-old Byrd, who died last week, was to be buried later
in the day at Arlington National Cemetery's Columbia Gardens, next
to his late wife Erma.
Byrd, a West Virginia Democrat who served half a century in the
U.S. Senate, died at a hospital in Fairfax, Va. Tuesday's service
and burial were the culmination of a week of memorials that
included his time lying in repose in his beloved Senate and a
memorial in West Virginia's capital of Charleston.
Thousands in West Virginia paid their respects at a public
viewing in the West Virginia statehouse, where President Barack
Obama attended a memorial service.
Family and staff members said that Tuesday's service, in
contrast to the earlier tributes, was to focus on Robert C. Byrd
away from the Senate - the husband, father, grandfather and
great-grandfather who played the fiddle and loved his dog.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)