As the US mourns the passing of Rosa Parks, the “Mother of the Modern Day Civil Rights Movement,” Congressman Faleomavaega joined with President and Mrs. Bush and Members of the US Congress to pay special tribute to the historic contribution of Rosa Parks to the civil rights movement.
On Friday October 28, 2005, Faleomavaega spoke before the US House of Representatives in support of a Congressional Resolution to permit the remains of Rosa Parks to lie in honor in the Rotunda of the US Capitol. “Rosa Parks is an American hero and deserves the greatest of honors our Nation can bestow,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “This is why I am pleased that the House and Senate unanimously passed Concurrent Resolutions making Rosa Parks the first woman and only the 30th American to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda.”
“From the evening of Sunday October 30 to Monday morning, over 30,000 people visited the Capitol Rotunda to pay their respects. I am pleased that on Sunday evening I was able to join President and Mrs. Bush and Congressional leaders in the Capitol Rotunda for a wreath-laying ceremony. While awaiting the arrival of Mrs. Parks’ casket, which was delayed, President and Mrs. Bush took the time to personally greet Members of Congress and I was pleased to represent the people of American Samoa on this somber occasion.”
“On Monday morning (October 31), Mrs. Parks’ remains were escorted to the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church for a memorial service which I also attended on behalf of the people of American Samoa. A bus departed from the US Capitol to the AME Church and my good friend, former Congressman JC Watts, and our other friends from the Congressional Black Caucus had an opportunity to visit on the bus-ride over to the funeral services and reflect on the contributions of Rosa Parks. Attendees at the memorial service included Oprah Winfrey, NAACP Chairman Julian Bond, Congressman John Conyers of Michigan, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy.”
“On Wednesday November 2, President Bush ordered that the US flag be flown at half-staff over all public buildings in recognition of Rosa Parks’ funeral and burial in Detroit, Michigan. A military aircraft was provided for Members of Congress to attend today’s funeral and more than 55 Members of Congress, including eight US Senators, boarded this flight. Former President Bill Clinton and Aretha Franklin also attended the services in Detroit and, again, I am pleased that I was also able to represent the people of American Samoa at these funeral services.”
Photos: (1) Faleomavaega and former Congressman JC Watts at the AME Memorial Service for Rosa Parks. (2) Faleomavaega and Congressman John Conyers, Jr. of Michigan inside the Capitol Rotunda to pay their respects to Rosa Parks.