November 18, 2019, 19:25

Elijah Cummings’ funeral live updates: Ceremony starts with Hillary Clinton, Pelosi

Elijah Cummings’ funeral live updates: Ceremony starts with Hillary Clinton, Pelosi

The funeral for Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings is ongoing in hometown of Baltimore Friday morning.

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Speakers at the New Psalmist Baptist Church include former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

(MORE: Democrats call Trump racist as he doubles down on attack on Baltimore, Rep. Cummings)

Bishop Walter S. Thomas Jr. of New Psalmist began the ceremony in a moment of silence as a military honor guard unfolded an American flag across Cummings’ casket.

Pictures of Cummings throughout his career hung on a sprawling sage behind the speaker’s podium.

Steve Ruark/AP

Former Vice President Joe Bidenv and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrive for the funeral service of Rep. Elijah Cummings at New Psalmist Baptist Church, Oct. 25, 2019, in Baltimore.

Senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren delivered readings from the Old Testament as one of the first politicians invited to speak at the ceremony.

Following the brief readings, one of Cummings favorite lyrical artists, BeBe Winas, sang along with the New Psalms Choir, bringing the audience to their feet.

Julio Cortez/AP

Pallbearers carry the casket containing the body of the late Rep. Elijah Cummings into the New Psalmist Baptist Church, Oct. 25, 2019, in Baltimore, ahead of his funeral.

Former Secretary of State Clinton first offered her condolences to Cummings’ wife, Maya and reflected on his legacy, comparing him to the Elijah of the Bible.

“Like the prophet, our Elijah could call down fire from heaven — but he also prayed and worked for healing,” she said.

To a long applause, Clinton added, “Like that Old Testament prophet, he stood against corrupt leadership of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel.”

“Our Elijah was a fierce champion for truth, justice and kindness in every part of his life,” Clinton also said of the congressman. “His integrity and character, his can-do spirit made him a guiding light in the Congress. He pushed back against the abuse of power; he was unwavering in his defense of our democracy.”

Joshua Roberts/Pool via Reuters

Former President Barack Obama arrives for funeral services for late Rep. Elijah Cummings at the New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore, Oct. 25, 2019.

After being met with an extended applause, Baltimore native and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi spoke of his character as a leader and mentor and of his commitment to help future generations.

“One word I would use to describe Elijah over and over again is the word ‘future.’ He was there to make the future for our children, who he called, as has been said, our living message to a future we will never see,” she said.

Former Rep. Kweisi Mfume of Maryland, a former president and CEO of the NAACP, followed Pelosi and reminisced on his personal, lifelong relationship with Cummings.

“So what shall we say of him long after that last pebble of dirt is tossed to seal his grave?” he said. “Above all, to those who knew and loved him, he was simply a good man with a good heart.”

(MORE: Trump calls Baltimore ‘disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess’)

Cummings’ funeral comes a day after a ceremony in Washington, where he became the first African American lawmaker to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol.

Washington lawmakers from both sides of the aisle and members of Cummings’ family filled Statuary Hall inside the Capitol to pay their respects to the long-serving congressman. Democrats and Republicans put their differences aside as they remembered their colleague and close friend.

Julio Cortez/AP

Pallbearers carry the casket containing the body of the late Rep. Elijah Cummings ahead of his funeral at New Psalmist Baptist Church, Oct. 25, 2019, in Baltimore.

Up until his death, Cummings served as the House Oversight Committee Chair, where he was deeply involved with the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Cummings died on Oct. 17 after complications with unspecified health challenges.

Sourse: abcnews.go.com

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