Services Celebrate the Life of Coretta Scott King - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

02/07/06

Services Celebrate the Life of Coretta Scott King

Some 10,000 mourners filled the New Birth Baptist Ministry in Lithonia, Georgia, today. They paid their respects and said say farewell to civil rights activist Coretta Scott King. President George W. Bush and former Presidents Clinton, Carter and Bush, Sr., Joined the King family in honoring her life and legacy.

Poet Maya Angelou, a close friend of King, spoke about what kind of person she was and the legacy she's leaving behind.

"She believed religiously in nonviolent protest. She believed it could heal a nation mired in a history of slavery and all its excesses. She believed nonviolent protest, religiously, could lift up a nation rife with racial prejudices and racial violence," Angelou said.

"In all her years, Coretta Scott King showed that a person of conviction and strength could also be a beautiful soul," said President Bush. "This kind and gentle woman became one of the most admired Americans of our time. She is rightly mourned, and she is deeply missed."

So deeply missed that police had to turn mourners away because there wasn't enough room inside when thousands turned out this morning for the Coretta Scott King Homegoing Celebration. The doors opened at 6:30am.

Among those who came to pay their respects was US Rep. John Barrow (D-GA Dist. 12), who felt compelled to attend. "My parents raised me to appreciate the heroic role that Dr. King played in the history of our country," he said. "And what a lot of us don't realize or find hard to remember is that Mrs. King bore Dr. King's burdens in a way that no one else on earth did while he was in life. And it's also true that she continued to bear the burden of his legacy after he lived, working for world peace and for human kindness and understanding."

Georgia Sen. Regina Thomas (D-Savannah) state Rep. Bob Bryant (D-Dist. 160) were also in attendance at today's service.

In addition to those from the Coastal Empire, Rev. Al Sharpton, former ambassador Andrew Young and countless others came to pay their last respects to Coretta Scott King.

The services came to an end just before 6pm. King will be laid to rest at the King Center next to her husband.

Reported by: Ron Wallace, rwallace@wtoc.com

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