Deeply respected evangelical leader and compassionate contributor to our world, Billy Graham, is lying in honor today at the U.S. Capitol. He is the first religious leader in history to have done so as well as just the fourth private citizen to be given the privilege. The most powerful people in the U.S. government came to pay their respects to this incredible ambassador for Jesus Christ, including President Donald Trump.
With Graham’s casket in the center of the Capitol Rotunda, surrounded by his family, special guests, and important leaders in our nation, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump entered to room together. The first couple walked toward the casket, pausing just a couple of feet before the approaching when Trump stepped forward on his own.
Trump reached out to Graham’s casket and from that point on, it seemed that it was just the president and the evangelical leader in the room alone together. Then for the next ten seconds, the room fell silent watching what the president did during a deeply personal moment with the Reverend.
Before Trump got his personal time with Graham to pay his respects, he spoke to everyone in attendance this morning.
Short remarks were given by Speaker Ryan, Leader McConnell and President Trump. Trump called Graham an ‘ambassador for Christ, who reminded the world of the power of prayer and the gift of God’s grace.’
Following his remarks, the first couple ceremoniously placed a wreath on his casket on behalf of the Executive branch, followed by a prayer given by the Congressional chaplain. Then, it was time for the Trumps to personally approach Graham for the final time. That’s when the most incredible ten seconds of the ceremony occurred.
The Trumps approached the casket one last time before leaving. While standing solemnly at the casket, President Trump walked directly up to it. The president laid his hand on the casket in contemplation. For approximately ten seconds, Trump stood, head bowed, with his hand on the casket.
While some may discredit or question Trump’s sincerity in this moment between our nation’s leader and this incredible religious leader, there’s no denying the emotion felt in the Rotunda this morning during this very special ten seconds.
What’s also of note, is that while Trump took the time, which he considered to be an honor, to pay his respects to a man who made an immense difference in this world, former President Barack Obama has decided not to attend Graham’s upcoming funeral. President Trump will be in attendance there as well.
As previously reported about Barack Obama’s whereabouts after refusing an invitation to attend the incredible event to pay his respects, we learned that former President Barack Hussein Obama will NOT be attending the funeral or memorial service for the legendary Christian minister Billy Graham.
At least three of the presidents alive today, and our current President, Donald Trump, will be at the North Carolina funeral in order to pay their respects and I think it’s safe to say there would be even more if it wasn’t for health issues some of our past presidents are having because of their advanced ages.
But Barack Obama, who is young and healthy can’t take a day off from his busy schedule of trying to overthrow President Trump and get elected to the UN in order to attend this wonderful man’s funeral who has been a long-standing staple in American history, a true legend in his own time.
Graham’s ministry spanned more than six decades, and his evangelical “crusades,” as he called them for most of his career, touched every corner of the world. He proclaimed his message of salvation through repentance and commitment to Jesus in the poorest of Third World nations and in the richest corners of this world. He was an accomplished showman with a down-to-earth theology. He preached with a burning sincerity, although he generally avoided the exaggerated theatrics of the stereotypical Bible revivalists of an earlier era.
He was indeed a legend and he will be missed by millions around the world. But of course, Obama will never miss an opportunity to disrespect a man loved by so many in Christianity.
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