Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii) was given full honors by his colleagues Thursday morning in a ceremony held just 31 other times in U.S. history.
Vice President Biden and members of the House and Senate attended and spoke at the memorial service in the Capitol Rotunda. Following the ceremony, Inouye will lie in state in the rotunda, and the general public will be able to pay their respects from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Inouye’s casket is resting on a catalfaque first constructed for a similar ceremony honoring President Abraham Lincoln in 1865 and used for every such event since, except a 1998 ceremony for two U.S. Capitol Police officers shot and killed in the Capitol.
Inouye joins a long list of presidents, lawmakers and other notable figures who have laid in honor in the Rotunda, including William Howard Taft, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and most recently Gerald R. Ford; Sens. Henry Clay and Hubert H. Humphrey; the remains of unknown soldiers from World War I, World War II and the Korean War; and most recently, civil rights icon Rosa Parks.
On Friday, Inouye will be moved to the National Cathedral, for a 10:30 a.m. funeral. His body will be flown Saturday to Hawaii for a final memorial service Sunday at the state’s famed Punchbowl military cemetery.
Inouye, the nation’s longest-serving senator and a decorated World War II combat veteran, died Monday at 88.