Billy Graham to Lie in Honor at US Capitol

POSTED: Feb. 27, 2018, 7:11 A.M. ET

The United States Congress has authorized Billy Graham to lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. Graham is the first religious leader to be offered this distinction. His body will arrive at the Capitol on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 10:30 a.m. ET, and a private ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. 

From 1 to 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Feb. 28, the public will be welcome to honor Billy Graham in the Capitol Rotunda. For details, refer to information posted by the U.S. Capitol Police.

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Only presidents, military commanders and members of Congress are granted the honor to lie in state. For those who lie in state, the casket is guarded at each of its corners by servicemen from each of the four branches of the United States Armed Forces. In 1998, Congress created a similar privilege for private citizens to lie in honor. For those who lie in honor, an honor guard is provided by the United States Capitol Police.

The first leader to lie in the Capitol Rotunda was former Speaker of the House of Representatives Henry Clay, when he died in 1852. Some 30 individuals, including 11 presidents, have been extended this honor. 

Three private citizens have lain in honor at the Capitol, including:

  • Rosa Parks, civil rights activist (2005)
  • United States Capitol Police Officer Jacob Chestnut, killed in the line of duty (1998)
  • United States Capitol Police Detective John Gibson, killed in the line of duty (1998)

A full list of those who have lain in state or in honor is available here.


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