Elijah Cummings to lie in state at U.S. Capitol

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(AP) -

Rep. Elijah Cummings, Maryland Democrat, will be posthumously honored next week by having his remains lie in state on Capitol Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Friday.

Mr. Cummings will lie in state Thursday, Oct. 24, in National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol, the House speaker’s office said in a press release.

A formal memorial service will be held in the morning for members of Congress, the Cummings family and invited guests prior to the room being opened to the public, according to the speaker’s office.

Mr. Cummings, a venerable civil rights leader from Baltimore, died Thursday at the age of 68 of complications from long-standing health issues. He had served in Congress for more than 20 years and was chairman of the powerful House Committee on Oversight and Reform at the time of his passing.

“In the House, Elijah was our North Star,” Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, said after his death was announced. “He was a leader of towering character and integrity, whose stirring voice and steadfast values pushed the Congress and country to rise always to a higher purpose.”

Statuary Hall is a historic, two-story room near the Capitol rotunda that hosted memorial services for elected officials in the past, including recently the late Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, last year.

Sen. Ben Cardin called the chamber “a very appropriate location” to honor his fellow Maryland Democrat, The Baltimore Sun reported.

“It’s a tribute to his incredible accomplishments. I’ve been receiving calls from all over the country. There is no question Congressman Cummings struck a chord with the American people.”

Mr. Cummings will also lie in repose Wednesday at Morgan State University, where he sat on its Board of Regents, The Sun reported. A wake and funeral will be held Friday at his New Psalmist Baptist Church, where he worshiped for decades, according to the newspaper.

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