By Libby Casey
Vice President Joe Biden and U-S Senators are among those speaking at today’s memorial service for former Senator Ted Stevens. The Anchorage Baptist Temple is preparing for thousands of attendees, and the service will be aired on TV statewide, and nationally on C-SPAN. Yesterday Stevens’ body lay in state at the All Saints Episcopal Church in downtown Anchorage. As a steady stream of mourners visited the church, the overcast skies opened up with rain.
Well the heavens are crying…
Beverely Moore is a Korean War Veteran from Anchorage who looked up to Stevens, even though at age 80 she’s not much younger than he was. She remembers a visit to his D-C office about 10 years ago:
I was like a long-lost daughter when I went in there because he said if there were any problem just call … just call. Just call me. You know. And then I got a couple of letters from him about my service, thanking me, so they’re all mementos in my scrapbook. And his picture’s on my fireplace.
While many friends of the Stevens’ family and scores of former staffers were on hand, many Alaskans who didn’t know him well – but called him Senator – came to pay their respects. Like Molly Kudrin, who’s originally from Atka Island but now lives in Anchorage:
I’ve seen him close up and I’ve shook hands with him. And no matter how busy he was he always took time to shake a hand here and there, and I mean he was a wonderful senator and Alaska has lost someone special.
Stevens’ body lay in a closed casket, draped with the American flag and flanked by an honor guard and flags of the U-S Senate. His family greeted and shook hands with or hugged all who entered… until his casket was moved by motorcade procession last night to the Anchorage Baptist Temple in preparation for today’s service.