Billy Graham Library closes as funeral preparations get underway

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The Billy Graham Library has closed to the public as preparations are being made for the funeral of Reverend Billy Graham on March 2.

"Some years ago, there was some consideration that his funeral services be held at the National Cathedral in Washington. Well, he didn't like it. He didn't like that idea. He wanted to be buried in his hometown here in Charlotte," said Mark Demoss, the spokesman for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

All day Thursday, crews were busy removing light poles, trees and parking markers, in order to install a massive stage and tent that will be used for the services.

The crews are hoping to have the work done by the end of the weekend.

Meanwhile, a memorial outside the front gate continues to grow as dozens stop by to bring flowers and letters.

"My connection is that I have lived in Charlotte a long time and for as long as I have been here he has been there. He has been there," said Cindy Leone, who dropped off flowers. "I can't believe he is gone, but he is up there with Jesus now."

On Thursday, the reality for many began to sink in.

"A little selfish sadness at first, but then overjoyed," said Nick Spaulding, who also stopped by to bring flowers. "He never made it about him. He would sit there and hold the bible up. He would say, 'you are here cheering me, welcoming me, but the Bible is what it is all about.'"

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