Thousands waited patiently for an hour or more to pay their final respects to Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as she lay in repose under the portico of the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 23 and 24. Ginsberg, 87, died the prior week after a long battle with cancer.
All wore masks in deference to the health emergency. They came to give thanks. On this particular occasion, women and girls representing every generation vastly outnumbered their male counterparts. Among them was a 93-year-old grandmother from San Francisco.
Pat Mason from Leesburg, Virginia, who was there with daughter Dorothy and grandson Henry, held up a large sign that read: “3 Generations thank RBG.” Nearby, Yasmine of Arlington, Virginia, carried a bouquet of white roses on behalf of “her mother who admired Ruth Bader Ginsburg and all the work that she did for women of her generation.”
Katherine of Los Angeles, wearing a bright “Notorious RBG” T-shirt, is a first-generation immigrant from the Philippines. “I admire how she opened the doors for me and for all foreigners,” she said. Her second-generation American daughter is studying law in Boston.
The next day, Friday, Sept. 25, the late justice’s casket arrived at the U.S. Capitol. where she would become the first woman and the first Jewish person to lie in state. The coffin containing Ginsberg’s remains rested upon the catafalque built to hold the casket of President Abraham Lincoln after his assassination in April of 1865.
Joseph Gawler’s Sons, LLC, handled the funeral arrangements. The 170-year-old business on Wisconsin Avenue has been called upon at the deaths of many notables, including President John F. Kennedy and Sen. John McCain.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, the women of Congress lined the East Capitol steps and a multi-service honor guard conveyed Ginsburg’s casket to a waiting hearse. Her remains would be taken to Arlington National Cemetery to be buried alongside those of her late husband, Martin Ginsburg.
“She’s an inspiration for all of us,” remarked Lisa of Alexandria, Virginia, on Thursday. “You can’t tell the truth without Ruth.”
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