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President Obama Uplifts Elijah Cummings As Good and Noble At Homegoing Celebration

President Obama Uplifts Elijah Cummings As Good and Noble At Homegoing Celebration

Congressman Elijah Cummings was laid to rest today. 

Hundreds came out to pay their respects to the civil rights leader with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remembering Cummings as a “fierce champion of truth, justice and kindness in every part of his life,” WTOP reports.

Former Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were all on the bill to speak.

Cummings grew up in Baltimore, the son of a sharecropper who made a name for himself as a man for the people. Obama eulogized Cummings, calling him a man with a “noble and good heart” whose “commitment to justice and the rights of others would never, ever waver,” Vox reports. Obama said Cummings “life validates the things we tell ourselves about what’s possible in this country.”

The services were held at the New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore. Gospel singer BeBe Winans performed and Senator Elizabeth Warren did a scripture reading.  Hillary Clinton was the first to deliver remarks likening Cummings to Elijah the prophet from the Bible saying, “Like the prophet, our Elijah could call down fire from heaven. But he also prayed and worked for healing. He weathered storms and earthquakes but never lost his faith.”

Cummings wife, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, released a statement calling her husband, “an honorable man who proudly served his district and the nation with dignity, integrity, compassion and humility,” reports PBS. 

Pelosi spoke about the late Congressman saying, “Our Elijah always made a seat at the table for others.” 

The 4,000 seat sanctuary was packed with dignitaries and city residents alike. LaGreta Williams, one of those in attendance said she attended college with Cummings and spoke about how he should be remembered.

“I think his legacy is that he was an honest person. He wanted everyone to have an equal opportunity so that people could make better decisions for themselves,” Williams said. 

Rev. Jacqueline Williams, a native of Baltimore, said she “felt like it was [her] civic duty to come and pay respects to a man who has done so much for Baltimore city.”

Obama wrapped up the eulogy saying, “It now falls on us to continue his work [so other children] might too have a chance to grow and to flourish. That’s how we will honor him.”

Cummings passed away October 17 at the age of 68 and became the first African American lawmaker to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol. 

Thank you for your legacy Congressman Cummings.

Photo Courtesy of Julio Cortez-Pool/Getty Images