Inouye Will Lie in State in Capitol Rotunda

Posted December 18, 2012 at 6:37pm

Sen. Daniel K. Inouye will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda on Thursday, the late senator’s office confirmed Tuesday evening, as part of a series of services leading up to the burial of the late president pro tem.

The Hawaii Democrat is scheduled to arrive back at the Capitol at 10 a.m. Thursday, with a morning ceremony and visitation scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Inouye, the second-longest-serving senator in history, will be the first senator to receive the honor since Claude Pepper of Florida in 1989. Pepper has the unusual distinction of serving in the House after a tenure in the Senate. The most recent person to be so honored in the Rotunda was President Gerald R. Ford at the beginning of 2007.

A storied list of senators have received the distinction, which requires joint approval of the House and Senate. Kentucky Congressman and Sen. Henry Clay, the “Great Compromiser,” was the first person so honored in the Rotunda.

The caskets of individuals honored in the Rotunda are usually placed on the historic Lincoln catafalque, which was constructed for the 1865 funeral of President Abraham Lincoln.

Instead of the Rotunda, the family of Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., opted for a memorial service on the Senate floor, which has been rare in the modern Senate.

After the visiting hours in the Capitol conclude, a funeral service is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Friday at Washington National Cathedral. Inouye will then make one final trip back to Hawaii, with a service on Sunday at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.