Byrd to lie in Senate chamber where he served

By Krissah Thompson
Washington Post staff writer
Wednesday, June 30, 2010; 12:11 AM

Sen. Robert C. Byrd, the longest-serving senator in U.S. history, will lie in repose on the Senate floor Thursday, an appropriate honor for a man who was known as dean of the Senate and spoke often of his love for the institution.

The public honor will be the first part of a five-day farewell journey that will end Tuesday when the West Virginia senator is laid to rest near his wife Erma in Arlington. Byrd died Monday at 92.

Byrd's office said the hearse carrying the senator's casket will arrive at the Senate steps at 9:45 a.m. Thursday. An honor guard will carry it into the Senate chamber, where Byrd's family will receive members of Congress who want to pay their respects.

At 10:15 a.m. the public galleries above the Senate floor will be opened for viewing, and Senate Chaplain Barry Black will offer a prayer at 10:30 a.m.

A hearse will take the casket to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland for a flight to Charleston, W. Va., at 4 p.m.

West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin's office said Byrd's body will lie overnight in repose in the state capitol's rotunda from 9 p.m. Thursday to 9 a.m. Friday. The governor has given state employees the day off to participate in the public viewing and memorial services, which will be attended by President Obama and Vice President Biden. The details of the service have not yet been determined.

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