Senate Doors Open Once More for Robert Byrd

Robert Byrd lies in repose in his beloved Senate

** FILE ** Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., presides over a hearing of the committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, in this Sept. 26, 2007 file photo on the presidential supplemental budget request for the Iraq and Afghanistan war efforts. Sen. Byrd, 90, was hospitalized Tuesday Feb. 26, 2008 after complaining of back pain following a fall at his home, his spokesman said. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate has opened its doors for a final time for Robert Byrd.

A military honor guard carried Byrd's casket up the Capitol steps, past a portrait of him, and into the Senate chamber. The casket is there for six hours, as members of Congress and the public pay their respects.

The West Virginia Democrat died Monday at age 92, having served longer than any other senator in history.

The state's junior senator, fellow Democrat Jay Rockefeller, says the Senate was a place where Byrd ruled and "had all of his great moments."

Senators, several House members and former colleagues including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton lined up to pay tribute at Byrd's flag-draped casket.

The public galleries will remain open until the casket is carried from the Capitol to a hearse that will take it to Andrews Air Force Base. It will be flown to Charleston, W.Va. for a memorial service tomorrow. From there, Byrd's body will return to Arlington, Va., for burial.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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