For nearly four hours, 4,000 people, including two former US presidents, lamented the longtime Democratic Party MP, a shareholder son who rose from South Baltimore to Congress.
"Elijah Cummings was a man with a noble and kind heart," said former President Barack Obama, who sat in the front row of the New Psalmist's Baptist Church with Maya Rockkeymur Cummings, the congressman's widow; Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton; and former Vice President Joe Biden, presidential candidate in 2020. "And now it is up to us to continue his work."
The service ̵
1; sometimes joyful, sometimes solemn and sometimes funny – offered a noble vision for the public service in which elected officials cooperate and compromise in the pursuit of the public good. In the presence of political figures, both parties had a very different atmosphere than the bitterly divided 50-mile impeachment investigation in Washington.
Obama, Hillary Clinton and Rockemour Cummings all hinted at the contrast.
a person with maximum integrity! Can you hear me? There was honesty. And he was interested in our democracy! "Rockhammer Cummings, chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party, said her voice cracked slightly. "He wanted to make sure that we leave a society worthy of our children."
In an address to Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state and candidate for president of democracy in 2016, Rockimour Cummings recalled her husband using his leadership position to support Obama
"Oh my God. He spent many hours defending you against false claims, "said Rockimur Cummings.
When Democrats took control of the House last year, Cummings became chairman of the House's Committee on Oversight and Reform" and now had to continue to work effectively to combat for the soul of our democracy against very real corruption, "she added.
As chairman of the Cummings Oversight Committee, he oversees Trump's White House investigations, firmly opposes the separation of children from their parents at the southern border, and
while maintaining strong friendships with congressional Republicans and with Democrats, he was sometimes targeted by the White House. This summer, Trump attacked Cummings' beloved Baltimore as a crime-ridden, "rat-infested" city, asking why anyone would want to live there.
The remarks "hurt" Cummings, his widow told him in mourning on Friday and made the last months of his life more difficult.
Trump made a different tone on Friday, speaking at a forum on criminal justice reform in South Carolina in front of a predominantly African-American crowd.
"I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to the friends and family of Elijah Cummings, who are celebrating their lives in Baltimore today," he said, recalling talks with Cummings about reducing the cost of prescription drugs. "
Hillary Clinton called Cummings 'Our Elijah' and drew applause and applause from the crowded sanctuary when she did what she looked like. biblical – theme
"Like the prophet, our Elijah could fire from heaven. But he also prayed and worked for healing," she said. "Like the prophet, he stands against the corrupt.
Obama, the last spokesman for politics, cited the massive video screens surrounding the scene that reported "The Honorable Elijah E. Cummings."
"This is a title we give to all kinds people who get elected to public office, "Obama said, taking out Estaing laughter. "But Elijah Cummings was honest before being elected to Congress. As a president, I could always count on Elijah to be honest and do the right thing. "
The mourners begin to line up in the New Psalmist hours before the funeral and the viewing that precedes it. By 7am, traffic was backed up for half a mile.
During the service, the gospel song BeBe Winans also delivered a parade of speakers – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Former NAACP congressman and Kweisi Mfum, former John Alexander employee, friends and mentors – respect all aspects of Cummings' life.
Jennifer Cummings, 37, said her father was forever amazed that he could hold her in one hand when she was born. "This life, my life, is in your hand," she said.
Cummings, she added, taught her the power of her "beauty and luster." He wanted her to know that "her rich brown skin was as beautiful as alabaster or whatever the color of the rainbow," and he insisted to buy her brown dolls to reinforce this message.
Adiya Cummings, who spoke after her sister, asked the present members of her father's congress to attend and be recognized.
James Cummings, the younger brother of the congressman, revealed that the family, named Elijah Cummings, was nicknamed "Bobby." Mfum described a life of civil rights activism and deep friendship. Alexander says his boss arrives late to vote on the floor of the House because he stopped to help the driver in distress.
In his praise, Obama recalled the "prophetic voice of a congressman," a deep baritone that he said "just made you feel better." And told the story of Cummings' father, who made his son to put on his shoes, put on a tie, and go to the airport – not to get on planes, but to look at others who could afford to do it.
"I didn't fly," his father told him. "I may not fly. But you will fly one day."
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), As Biden, presidential contender in 2020; and rep. Cannes representatives Louis Gomert (Texas), Jim Jordan (Ohio) and Mark Meadows (NSC) and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan were also among the thousands in attendance at the service, who Rockhammer Cummings said her husband had planned to last detail. ] Shortly before he died on October 17, at age 68, Cummings graduates transferred their hospital bed to the roof of Johns Hopkins University Hospital so that it could feel the sun on their skin, says Rockimur Cummings.
He looks out over the Inner Harbor, where in healthier times he shared ice cream comes with his daughter Jennifer; to South Baltimore, where he grew up with his parents and six siblings; to West Baltimore, where he left with a flea market and called for peace after Freddie Gray, a young, unarmed black man, died from injuries sustained in police custody.
Rockemour Cummings remembered the words of her husband: "Boy, have I come a long way. ”
Colby Itkovitz contributed to this report.