Jimmy Carter, dignitaries memorialize Rosalynn Carter

Amy Carter walks past her mother's casket after speaking at a tribute service for former first lady Rosalynn Carter at Glenn Memorial Church at Emory University on Tuesday in Atlanta. Pool Photo by Brynn Anderson/UPI
1 of 16 | Amy Carter walks past her mother's casket after speaking at a tribute service for former first lady Rosalynn Carter at Glenn Memorial Church at Emory University on Tuesday in Atlanta. Pool Photo by Brynn Anderson/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 28 (UPI) -- Mourners gathered in Atlanta on Tuesday during a second day of memorials throughout Georgia to honor former first lady Rosalynn Carter's life and legacy before her burial on Wednesday.

The invitation-only service at Glenn Memorial Church at Emory University was attended by numerous high-profile guests and dignitaries, including past first ladies Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, Michelle Obama and Melania Trump, the Carter Center announced.


President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden were in attendance, alongside Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Douglas Emhoff.

Former President Bill Clinton was also in attendance, as well as a host of Washington lawmakers and Georgia officials.


Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens and past and present presidents of Emory University, were also in attendance.

Former President Jimmy Carter, who is 99 and has been receiving hospice care at home since February, also attended the tribute.

To begin the service, pianist David Osborne performed hymns to honor Jimmy Carter's wife of 77 years.

Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood performed a cover of John Lennon's Imagine during the service.

The Carters' 11 surviving grandchildren served as honorary pallbearers, while various family members read a series of tributes and Bible verses to honor the cherished matriarch.

The Carter's son James Earl "Chip" Carter delivered opening remarks.

"My mother was the glue that held our family together through the ups and downs and thicks and thins of our family's politics," Chip Carter said.

Chip thanked his mother for helping him through his addiction issues and credited her with saving his life.

"She was influential, in getting me into rehab for my drug and alcohol addiction. She saved my life," Chip Carter said.

TV journalist Judy Woodruff addressed the gathering and recounted personal stories of the Carter family during the service.


"President Carter, President Biden, Dr. Biden, Vice President Harris, the second gentleman, President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, Mrs. Bush, Mrs. Obama, Mrs. Trump, distinguished guests and friends, Rosalynn Carter would be so pleased to see that she brought all of you together on this day," Woodruff said.

Woodruff praised Rosalynn Carter for her advocacy for people with disabilities and her relationship with former President Carter.

"For 77 years they adored each other and had much in common. Intelligence compassion, curiosity courage, and apparently, they could both be a little stubborn," Woodruff said.

Woodruff also recounted how she met her husband, reporter Al Hunt, during a 1976 softball game between members of Carter's campaign staff and reporters.

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus performed Rosalynn Carter's most beloved songs throughout the gathering.

The Rev. Mark Westmoreland, who serves as pastor of Glenn Memorial, will deliver the eulogy, followed by remarks by Pastor Tony Lowden, the personal pastor of the Carters.

The service took place a day after hundreds paid tribute to the former first lady on Monday evening as her body lay in repose for several hours at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library in Atlanta.

The former first lady made her final journey Monday from Plains, Ga., to Atlanta as state residents lined roads to watch the motorcade pass amid three days of memorials.


Ahead of Tuesday's ceremony, the Carter family departed the Carter Presidential Center in Atlanta at 11:30 a.m., as the hearse led a motorcade to the church, where the more than hour-long ceremony began at 1 p.m.

Following Tuesday's tribute, the casket bearing Carter's body was carried back to the hearse. According to the Carter Center, the motorcade passed the Carter Presidential Center for a final time before joining I-75/I-85 South for the return to Plains."

A private family funeral will be held Wednesday at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains.

Afterward, the casket will make one last pass in the motorcade along the downtown areas of Bond Street and Highway 280, where residents were preparing to pay their respects by standing along the route.

Later in the afternoon, Carter's body will be interred at the family residence in Plains.

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter dies at 96: a look back

Rosalynn Carter speaks in Sacramento, Calif., on August 14, 1976. Her husband, Jimmy Carter, was elected president of the United States months later. UPI File Photo | License Photo

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