In Memoriam at the Capitol

Lawmakers gather to remember colleagues

Former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota speaks in the Capitol on Sept. 27 during the United States Association of Former Members of Congress memorial service for lawmakers who died within the last 18 months. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Current and former lawmakers and members of their families came together Wednesday to honor five senators and 28 members of the House who died over the past year-and-a-half.

Former Florida GOP Rep. Cliff Stearns, the president of the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress, led the Statuary Hall ceremony.

Former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle and Trent Lott offered readings, along with current House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Steve Chabot.

Chabot, an Ohio Republican, was perhaps the most poignant, reading “High Flight.”

The well-known John Gillespie Magee poem begins “Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,” and Chabot improvised at the end, adding one more wish of Godspeed to former Ohio Sen. John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth, who died last December.

House Chaplain Patrick Conroy offered prayers and reflections.



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