WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The nation's most powerful politicians say 'goodbye' to one of the country's most influential reverends. Wednesday, North Carolina's senators and Rep. Walter Jones reflected on the late Rev. Billy Graham.
The impact that he's had on the country and the world is not an impact that stops with his death," said Sen. Richard Burr (R - N.C.).
Burr paid his respects, as Rev. Billy Graham lay in honor in the Capitol. In a one-on-one interview, he described meeting Graham several times. He said he tried to learn and grow with every interaction.
His fellow North Carolinian and colleague Sen. Thom Tillis (R - N.C.) said he met Graham only once, as the reverend turned 95. "But, I feel like I've known him all my life," he said, "my family watched virtually every broadcast he ever did."
Graham counseled presidents, declined an offer to become an ambassador to Israel, and played a prominent role fighting for civil rights. Rep. Walter Jones (R - N.C.) said Graham's political relevance stemmed from his consistent, scriptural foundation.
"I think that's why Billy Graham was able to bring the word of Christ, to a president or to the people," said Jones.
Burr echoed those sentiments, "I don't think he diverted from that and I think that's the reason he was a counsel to Republicans and to Democrats."
Graham is only the fourth civilian to have the nation pay its final tribute in the Capitol.
North Carolina lawmakers said his memory will continue to inspire them and the country. "It's a legacy that's going to live on for generations," said Tillis. "There will never be another Billy Graham," said Jones, "there just won't be."
But lawmakers said this is a moment to celebrate, as Graham leaves his nation to join the Kingdom of Heaven.