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House Leaders Hold Memorial Service for Murtha

The House will halt business Wednesday morning for a memorial service honoring the late Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), who died last month after suffering complications from gallbladder surgery.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), senior administration officials and top military brass will all take part in the service set for 11 a.m. in Statuary Hall. In addition to Pelosi, other speakers at the event will include Vice President Joseph Biden, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and National Security Adviser James Jones.

A number of Murtha’s former House colleagues will also pay tribute, including Reps. Bill Young (R-Fla.), Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.), Jim Moran (D-Va.), Tim Holden (D-Pa.), Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.), Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) and Robert Brady (D-Pa.).

Pelosi, a close personal friend of Murtha’s, will begin the service and the Rev. Daniel Coughlin, the House Chaplain, will deliver the invocation. The U.S. Marine Band String Quartet will perform the prelude for the ceremony honoring Murtha, a decorated Vietnam War veteran. A U.S. Marine Band vocalist will also sing “God Bless America,” a song that Murtha had said he wanted at his funeral service.

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