Billy Graham remembered as a bridge builder at U.S. Capitol

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WBTV) - A moment and motorcade rolled down Constitution Avenue as the well-known traveling preacher had to make one more last stop on the road before being taken back to his final resting place in Charlotte.

Billy Graham achieving an honor bestowed on just a handful of Americans by lying in honor at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday. North Carolina Senator Richard Burr was among the admirers.

"This is an opportunity for the congress to unite. Unite around a historic figure. One who's legacy is not in the rear-view mirror, but one that is much in front of us," Burr said.

Honoring Billy Graham means paying tribute to both the man and his powerful message. Lincoln County natives Doris and Ed Segal recall following Graham in the formative years of his ministry.

"He'll be remembered as one of my heroes and one who I wish I could follow his example," Ed Segal said.

Seven hours was allotted for visitors to share their final goodbyes at the capitol rotunda.

As his admirers cherished the moment of passing by his simple pinewood casket, those enduring the wait reflected on how the televangelist impacted their lives.

Alphonse Lipot from the African Nation of Cameroon called him a bridge builder.

"He crossed the racial barrier during his crusades," he said.

Former Charlotte pastor William Church sizes up the man and his message.

"He's an American icon. He's part of the american culture for an extended period of time. A man presidents called on," Church said.

However the congressman who called on him, Robert Pittenger of Charlotte, said Graham played no favorites.

"He was the same with everyone. He was the same with the president, a king, a cab driver someone who worked in a hotel. It doesn't make any difference. Billy Graham loved people," Pittenger said.

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