Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s funeral was held yesterday at the Park Avenue Synagogue. Among the speakers were Vice President Joe Biden, Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ). 41 Senators, Gov. Chris Christie and six members of the House of Representatives attended the event.
Frank Lautenberg was a man for his time. One of the greatest generation. The last of the Senate to have served in World War II. His story was an American story, but from his heart and for his lifetime, he was a kid from Paterson, New Jersey.
More after the jump.
Anyone who knew Frank knew he was destined to make something of himself. And he did.
Frank always had something to say. It was usually a running commentary of what we were doing and what we weren’t doing. You just couldn’t help but have a smile on your face at least one time during the conversation.
Biden, who gave the longest speech, said:
I realize it’s beyond my capacity to find the words to do justice to Frank Lautenberg.
The Vice President also told that Lautenberg met with him around Christmas and asked his advice about whether he should run for another term in the senate. Biden told him he should. “it was clear that he desperately wanted to run again,” he said. “He never quit anything. He never gave up. He never gave in.”
Biden joked that he often rushed to Union Station to catch the train back to Delaware. One time, he said, he got to the station late and found the conductor waiting on the platform. “I got up to the conductor and he said ‘Hey Joe, don’t worry. You’re Okay. We’re holding it up for Lautenberg.’ They never once held it for me.”
Lautenberg’s wife, Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg gave the final speech. She said the only thing that would have made her husband more happy than seeing all his friends there was to see them at a campaign fundraiser for him. “He taught us how to think at a much deeper level,” she said.