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Rosa Parks

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Author Topic: Rosa Parks  (Read 148 times)
Booker Gant
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« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2007, 01:38:15 pm »

Rosa Parks resided in Detroit until she died at the age of ninety-two on October 24, 2005, about 19:00 EDT, in her apartment on the east side of the city. She had been diagnosed the previous year with progressive dementia.

City officials in Montgomery and Detroit announced on October 27, 2005 that the front seats of their city buses would be reserved with black ribbons in honor of Parks until her funeral. Parks' coffin was flown to Montgomery and taken in a horse-drawn hearse to the St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church, where she lay in repose at the altar, dressed in the uniform of a church deaconess, on October 29, 2005. A memorial service was held there the following morning, and one of the speakers, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, said that if it had not been for Rosa Parks, she would probably have never become the Secretary of State. In the evening the casket was transported to Washington, D.C., and taken, aboard a bus similar to the one in which she made her protest, to lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda (making her the first woman and second African American ever to receive this honor). An estimated 50,000 people viewed the casket there, and the event was broadcast on television on October 31, 2005. This was followed by another memorial service at a different St. Paul AME church in Washington on the afternoon of October 31, 2005. For two days, she lay in repose at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit.

Parks' funeral service, seven hours long, was held on Wednesday, November 2, 2005, at the Greater Grace Temple Church. After the funeral service, an honor guard from the Michigan National Guard laid the U.S. flag over the casket and carried it to a horse-drawn hearse, which had been intended to carry it, in daylight, to the cemetery. As the hearse passed the thousands of people who had turned out to view the procession, many clapped and released white balloons. Rosa was interred between her husband and mother at Detroit's Woodlawn Cemetery in the chapel's mausoleum. (The chapel was renamed the Rosa L. Parks Freedom Chapel just after her death.) Parks had previously prepared and placed a headstone on the selected location with the inscription "Rosa L. Parks, wife, 1913".

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