President Donald Trump eulogized the late Rev. Billy Graham during a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
Congressional leaders and Trump spoke about the late minister as Graham lay in honor in the Capitol Rotunda, the first religious leader in U.S. history to do so.
Trump recounted being a child and his father taking him and his mother to see Graham preach in New York.
“From a large tent in Los Angeles, to 100,000 people in a single day at Yankee Stadium, to more than 2 million people at Madison Square Garden, over 16 weeks in 1957. And I remember that because my father said to me, ‘come on, son’ and by the way, he said, ‘come on, mom, let’s go see Billy Graham at Yankee Stadium,’ and it was something very special,” Trump said. “But Americans came in droves to hear that great young preacher. Fred Trump was a big fan, Fred Trump was my father.”
Trump also mentioned Graham’s international impact and reach.
“In London, Tokyo, Seoul, Bogata, Moscow, New Delhi, Saigon, Johannesburg, and scores of other places all over the world, Reverend Graham shared the power of God’s word with more than 200 million people in person and countless others through television and radio, where people loved to watch and listen,” Trump said. “In 1978, with the support of the Catholic Bishop who would soon become Pope John Paul II, Reverend Graham went to Poland and spoke of the meaning of the Cross to a people suffering under the soulless oppression of communism. Billy Graham carried his message around the world, but his heart, as [his son] Franklin will tell you, was always in America.”
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