Body of Rosa Parks to lie in honor at U.S. Capitol

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Friday, October 28, 2005

The body of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks, who died on Monday, will lie in honor at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, a tribute usually reserved for deceased presidents and war heroes.

The Senate passed a resolution on Thursday for Parks to lay in the Rotunda on Sunday and Monday so that "the citizens of the United States may pay their last respects to this great American". The House of Representatives approved the resolution today.

Parks will be the first woman to be honored in this way.

Senate Majority leader Bill Frist said allowing Parks to lie at the Capitol is "a testament to the impact of her life on both our nation's history and future". Minority leader Harry Reid said that Parks' actions "changed not only our country, but the entire world, as her actions gave hope to every individual fighting for civil and human rights." Senator Christopher Dodd added that Parks "is not just a national hero, she is the embodiment of our social and human conscience and the spark that lit the flame of liberty and equality for African Americans and minority groups in this country and around the globe".

Meanwhile, officials in Montgomery, the place of her historic act of defiance, and Detroit, her later home and deathplace, ordered that the first seat of every public bus will be reserved to honor Parks until her funeral, which is set for Wednesday.