Week Full of Remembrances on Tap for Byrd

Posted June 29, 2010 at 3:49pm

The late Sen. Robert Byrd will be honored in Washington and West Virginia this week before he is laid to rest July 6 in Arlington, Va.

The Senate’s longest-serving Member will lie in state in the chamber from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday after being brought in by an honor guard from the Senate steps. In a nod to Byrd’s love of history, his casket will stand atop the historic catafalque that was first used in 1865 for President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral.

Chaplain Barry Black will deliver a prayer to the Senate at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, and afterward members of Byrd’s family will receive Members of Congress wishing to pay their respects. The public galleries will also be open for individuals who want to participate in the viewing.

Afterward, Byrd’s casket will be airlifted from Andrews Air Force Base to Charleston, W.Va., where a procession will take place from the Robert C. Byrd U.S. Courthouse to the state Capitol. Byrd’s body will lie in state in West Virginia’s Capitol rotunda from 9 p.m. Thursday to 9 a.m. Friday.

An 11:30 a.m. memorial service and celebration of life will take place at the state Capitol, after which Byrd will return to the Washington area for a public funeral July 6 at the Memorial Baptist Church in Arlington. The same church hosted the funeral of Byrd’s late wife, Erma Ora Byrd, in 2006. She is buried at Columbia Gardens Cemetery in Arlington.

Sen. Byrd reportedly visited his wife’s grave daily, and while his office did not release details, it is presumed he will be laid to rest next to her.