Funeral Procession for Former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards (VIDEO)
(Sunday, July 18th) Former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards' body has been escorted from the State Capitol to the Old State Capitol for a private funeral.
Edwards' casket was taken by horse-drawn carriage and carried by a State Police honor guard as bagpipes played.
Current Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards had this to say a couple of hours before Sunday's funeral procession began:
BELOW is video of the funeral procession.
(Saturday, July 17th) Edwin Edwards, the former governor of Louisiana who died this week at the age of 93 following lung complications, is lying in state this weekend as Louisiana says goodbye to its controversial yet beloved former leader.
Edwards lies in state in Memorial Hall in the Louisiana State Capitol building from 10:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Saturday as it will be live streamed by Louisiana Public Broadcasting. He's only the 5th Louisiana governor to do so.
“Governor John Bel Edwards will lead the way, leading the crowd that comes into the visitation through the rotunda of the memorial hall,” says Edwards biographer Leo Honeycutt to Louisiana Radio Network.
Current Governor John Bel Edwards had this to say about the former governor in a statement released following the "Cajun Prince's" passing:
Few people have made such an indelible mark on our state as Governor Edwin Edwards. At just 17, he joined the Navy during World War II, beginning a lifetime of service to his state and country. He represented Louisiana’s 7th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives and served as the state’s only four-term governor, leading Louisiana through pivotal years of growth including launching efforts to create the state’s current constitution. Gov. Edwards was a fervent supporter of civil rights and ensured that his administration was as diverse as Louisiana, a commitment I have also made as governor. Edwin was a larger than life figure known for his wit and charm, but he will be equally remembered for being a compassionate leader who cared for the plight of all Louisianans. Our state has lost a giant, and we will miss him dearly. Donna and I send our deepest condolences to his wife, Trina, family and all who were blessed to call him a friend and ask everyone to join us in praying for God to comfort them during this difficult time."
Then, on Sunday, a private ceremony will be held at the Old State Capital as family and close friends pay their final respects. But, not before Edwards' casket will be taken by horse-drawn carriage and carried by a state police honor guard with the Southern University Marching Band leading the funeral procession to the Old State Capitol.
The lawyer turned elected official saw his political service begin in Crowley as a City Councilman in the 1950s and end as a four-term governor. He also served as a U.S. Congressman out of the 7th District, a Louisiana state senator, and as an Associate Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court.
But, the Gonzalez native's decades-long political career will be equally remembered for the near eight years he spent in federal prison on corruption charges.
“He was certainly a lightning rod on many occasions but at the end of it I think on balance when you look at the public record and look back at historic records you’ll see that he actually did do a lot of good things for the state,” Honeycutt said.
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