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Tribute Service Held to Honor Former US First Lady Rosalynn Carter

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An Armed Forces body bearer team carries the casket of former first lady Rosalynn Carter after a tribute service at Glenn Memorial Church at Emory University, in Atlanta, Nov. 28, 2023.
An Armed Forces body bearer team carries the casket of former first lady Rosalynn Carter after a tribute service at Glenn Memorial Church at Emory University, in Atlanta, Nov. 28, 2023.

Former U.S. first lady Rosalynn Carter was honored Tuesday at a tribute service in Atlanta, attended by all living first ladies and three presidents, including her husband, 99-year-old former President Jimmy Carter, who entered hospice care in February.

The service consisted of classical music and many of her favorite hymns and Bible passages. Guests included President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden, former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former first ladies Melania Trump, Michelle Obama and Laura Bush, along with Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff.

More than 1,000 people were in the sanctuary, with her children and dozens of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, sitting front and center around Jimmy Carter. The Carters were married for 77 years.

Former first ladies Melania Trump, Michelle Obama, Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton, arrive to attend a tribute service for former first lady Rosalynn Carter at Glenn Memorial Church in Atlanta, Nov. 28, 2023.
Former first ladies Melania Trump, Michelle Obama, Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton, arrive to attend a tribute service for former first lady Rosalynn Carter at Glenn Memorial Church in Atlanta, Nov. 28, 2023.

Speakers included the Carters' son James Earl "Chip" Carter III, journalist Judy Woodruff, White House aide to Rosalynn Carter Kathryn Cade, the Carters' grandson and Carter Center chairman Jason Carter and the Rev. Tony Snowden, the Carters' personal pastor.

Rosalynn Carter, who has been praised for her life of political advocacy, was the second-longest living first lady of the United States behind Bess Truman, who died at 97.

She died November 19 at the age of 96.

A funeral is planned for Wednesday in Plains, Georgia, followed by a private interment at the family's home.

Memorial events began Monday with members of the public given the opportunity to pay their respects at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library.

Some information for this story came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.

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