Washington, D.C. – On Oct. 24, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer spoke at the Statuary Hall ceremony to honor Congressman Elijah Cummings as his body lay in the United States Capitol Building. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
In his first speech in Congress, Schumer famously quoted Maryland Congressman Mitchell, extolling the virtues and deficiencies of the ‘one-minute,’ the 60-second limit of speaking on the House floor. “This morning I feel the deficiencies of having only one minute to honor our friend Elijah Cummings because he exuded such a rare quality. He was strong — very strong when necessary — but also kind and caring and honorable. Universally respected and admired in a divided time.
His voice could shake mountains and stir the most cynical hearts, inspiring us all to be better. His authority came not from the office he held, nor from the timbre of his voice, nor its sometimes thundering boom. It came from the moral force of his life. A sharecroppers’ son, born and raised in Baltimore, Elijah Cummings never forgot where he came from and never lost sight of where he wanted his country to go.
That’s why, no matter your politics, if you knew Elijah, you went to him for guidance. I often did. I will miss those conversations dearly. I pray for his family, for the city of Baltimore, and I pray for our nation when people like Elijah Cummings are no longer with us. Those gathered here today have lost a dear friend, and our country has lost a giant.
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