ARLINGTON, Va. - Family, friends and employees paid last respects Tuesday to Sen. Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia.
His casket was carried into Memorial Baptist Church in Arlington 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 Columbia Gardens Cemetery, which is near Arlington National Cemetery, next to his late wife Erma. He was the Senate's longest serving member in History.
From right to left, West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., his wife Sharon, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and others attend a funeral service for Sen. Robert C. Byrd Tuesday at the Memorial Baptist Church in Arlington, Va. Byrd was buried in Virginia.
Byrd 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 the Senate and a memorial in 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.
Tuesday's service, in contrast to the earlier tributes, was to focus on Byrd as a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather who played the fiddle and loved his dog, his family said.
In the meantime, Gov. Joe Manchin has ordered all United States and state flags that have flown at half staff to remain lowered through sunset on Tuesday. Flags are to be raised to full-staff at sunset.
The governor ordered all U.S. and state flags displayed at state facilities lowered on June 28. Also last week, the governor ordered the exterior lights at the Capitol to be dimmed.
The lights were also turned back on around the Capitol dome on Tuesday, Manchin ordered.