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Graham mourned as body taken to his namesake library

  • People line the street as the hearse carrying the body of Rev. Billy Graham leaves the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 in Asheville, N.C. Graham's body will be brought to his hometown of Charlotte on Saturday as part of a procession expected to draw crowds of well-wishers. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek, Pool) Kathy Kmonicek

  • The hearse carrying the body of Billy Graham arrives at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. Graham's body was brought to his hometown of Charlotte on Saturday, Feb. 24, as part of a procession expected to draw crowds of well-wishers. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond) Nell Redmond

  • Family members, including Franklin Graham, right, walk to vehicles before the body of Rev. Billy Graham leaves the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 in Asheville, N.C. Graham's body will be brought to his hometown of Charlotte on Saturday as part of a procession expected to draw crowds of well-wishers. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek, Pool) Kathy Kmonicek

  • Mourners view the motorcade carrying Rev. Billy Graham through a window to in Black Mountain, N.C., on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. Lyons traveled from Muldoon, Texas. It was a chance for residents in some of Graham’s favorite places to pay tribute. He often shopped or caught trains in Black Mountain. The procession is part of more than a week of mourning that culminates with his burial next week at his library in Charlotte. (John D. Simmons/The Charlotte Observer via AP) John D. Simmons

  • Pallbearers carry the body of Rev. Billy Graham into a hearse before leaving the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 in Asheville, N.C. Graham's body will be brought to his hometown of Charlotte on Saturday as part of a procession expected to draw crowds of well-wishers. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek, Pool) Kathy Kmonicek

  • People line the street to pay respects as the hearse carrying the body of Rev. Billy Graham travels through Black Mountain, N.C., Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. The procession is part of more than a week of mourning that culminates with his burial next week at his library in Charlotte. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek, Pool) Kathy Kmonicek

  • Family members look on as the body of Rev. Billy Graham is carried to the hearse to leave the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove in Asheville, North Carolina, on Saturday. AP Photo

  • Rose Salazar of Cornelius, N.C. waits for the motorcade carrying the body of the late Rev. Billy Graham to proceed through uptown Charlotte, N.C. on the way to the Billy Graham Library on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (David T. Foster III/The Charlotte Observer via AP) David T. Foster III

  • FILE - In this Dec. 20, 2010 file photo, evangelist Billy Graham, 92, speaks during an interview at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association headquarters in Charlotte, N.C. Graham, who died Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, at his home in North Carolina's mountains at age 99, reached hundreds of millions of listeners around the world with his rallies and his pioneering use of television. Graham's body will be brought to his hometown of Charlotte on Saturday, Feb. 24, as part of a procession expected to draw crowds of well-wishers. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond, File) Nell Redmond

  • Visitors leave the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. Graham, who transformed American religious life through his preaching and activism, becoming a counselor to presidents and the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history, has died. Spokesman Mark DeMoss says Graham, who long suffered from cancer, pneumonia and other ailments, died at his home in North Carolina on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. He was 99. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton) Chuck Burton

  • FILE - In this May 9, 2003 file photo, the Rev. Billy Graham quiets the crowd during the second day of his Mission San Diego revival at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. Graham, who died Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, at his home in North Carolina's mountains at age 99, reached hundreds of millions of listeners around the world with his rallies and his pioneering use of television. Graham's body will be brought to his hometown of Charlotte on Saturday, Feb. 24, as part of a procession expected to draw crowds of well-wishers. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy, File) Denis Poroy

  • Pall bearers carry the casket containing the body of Billy Graham toward his birthplace home at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. Graham's body was brought to his hometown of Charlotte on Saturday, Feb. 24, as part of a procession expected to draw crowds of well-wishers. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton) Chuck Burton

  • The Billy Graham procession drives south on U.S. 321 near Dallas. N.C. as it passes through Gaston County on it's way to Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C. Saturday Feb. 24, 2018. (John Clark/The Gaston Gazette via AP) JOHN CLARK

  • Pall bearers carry the casket with the body of Billy Graham past family members to the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. Graham's body was brought to his hometown of Charlotte on Saturday, Feb. 24, as part of a procession expected to draw crowds of well-wishers. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond) Nell Redmond

  • Mourners line Hwy 70 through Black Mountain, N.C. as the motorcade carrying Rev. Billy Graham passes by, on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. It was a chance for residents in some of Graham’s favorite places to pay tribute. He often shopped or caught trains in Black Mountain. The procession is part of more than a week of mourning that culminates with his burial next week at his library in Charlotte. (John D. Simmons/The Charlotte Observer via AP) John D. Simmons

  • Observers watch from Morehead Street as the motorcade carrying the body of the late Rev. Billy Graham passes beneath them through uptown Charlotte, N.C. on the way to the Billy Graham Library on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (David T. Foster III/The Charlotte Observer via AP) David T. Foster III

  • Pall bearers carry the casket carrying the body of Billy Graham past family member to the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. Graham's body was brought to his hometown of Charlotte on Saturday, Feb. 24, as part of a procession expected to draw crowds of well-wishers. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton) Chuck Burton

  • Ann Lyons waits for the motorcade carrying Rev. Billy Graham to pass by in Black Mountain, N.C., on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. Lyons traveled from Muldoon, Texas. It was a chance for residents in some of Graham’s favorite places to pay tribute. He often shopped or caught trains in Black Mountain. The procession is part of more than a week of mourning that culminates with his burial next week at his library in Charlotte. (John D. Simmons/The Charlotte Observer via AP) John D. Simmons

  • FILE - In this June 25, 2005 file photo, former President Bill Clinton, left, speaks alongside the Rev. Billy Graham on the second night of the Greater New York Billy Graham Crusade at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in the Queens borough of New York. Graham, who died Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, at his home in North Carolina's mountains at age 99, reached hundreds of millions of listeners around the world with his rallies and his pioneering use of television. Graham's body will be brought to his hometown of Charlotte on Saturday, Feb. 24, as part of a procession expected to draw crowds of well-wishers. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File) Frank Franklin II

  • FILE - In this March 12, 1955 file photo, the Rev. Billy Graham stands with his wife Ruth Graham as he waves from the liner Liberte in New York, before departing on a European preaching tour. Graham, who died Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, at his home in North Carolina's mountains at age 99, reached hundreds of millions of listeners around the world with his rallies and his pioneering use of television. Graham's body will be brought to his hometown of Charlotte on Saturday, Feb. 24, as part of a procession expected to draw crowds of well-wishers. (AP Photo, File)

  • FILE - In this April 10, 2006 file photo, Evangelist Billy Graham, foreground left, is applauded by former first lady Barbara Bush and former President George Bush after receiving the 2006 George Bush Award for Excellence in Public Service at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Graham, who died Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, at his home in North Carolina's mountains at age 99, reached hundreds of millions of listeners around the world with his rallies and his pioneering use of television. Graham's body will be brought to his hometown of Charlotte on Saturday, Feb. 24, as part of a procession expected to draw crowds of well-wishers. (Butch Ireland/College Station Eagle via AP, File) Butch Ireland

  • FILE - In this June 27, 1954 file photo, Evangelist Billy Graham speaks to over 100,000 Berliners at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, Germany. Graham, who died Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, at his home in North Carolina's mountains at age 99, reached hundreds of millions of listeners around the world with his rallies and his pioneering use of television. Graham's body will be brought to his hometown of Charlotte on Saturday, Feb. 24, as part of a procession expected to draw crowds of well-wishers. (AP Photo/Werner Kreusch, File) Werner Kreusch

  • FILE - In this June 12, 2003 file photo, The Rev. Billy Graham preaches in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on June 12, 2003 Graham, who died Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, at his home in North Carolina's mountains at age 99, reached hundreds of millions of listeners around the world with his rallies and his pioneering use of television. Graham's body will be brought to his hometown of Charlotte on Saturday, Feb. 24, as part of a procession expected to draw crowds of well-wishers. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File) AP File PHoto

  • FILE - In this May 20, 1985 file photo, Rev. Billy Graham sings a hymn as he stands on the stage at the Hartford Civic Center in Conn. Graham, who died Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, at his home in North Carolina's mountains at age 99, reached hundreds of millions of listeners around the world with his rallies and his pioneering use of television. Graham's body will be brought to his hometown of Charlotte on Saturday, Feb. 24, as part of a procession expected to draw crowds of well-wishers. (AP Photo/Bob Child, File) Bob Child

  • FILE - In this Oct. 24, 1976 file photo, Evangelist Billy Graham, 57, of Montreat, N.C., holds his bible while gesturing during the final service of the 10-day Southeastern Michigan Crusade at Pontiac Stadium, in Pontiac, Mich. Graham, who died Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, at his home in North Carolina's mountains at age 99, reached hundreds of millions of listeners around the world with his rallies and his pioneering use of television. Graham's body will be brought to his hometown of Charlotte on Saturday, Feb. 24, as part of a procession expected to draw crowds of well-wishers. (AP Photo/Richard Scheinwald, File) Richard Sheinwald



AP National Writer
Monday, February 26, 2018

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Admirers took photos on their phones, fire trucks parked on freeway overpasses and police officers saluted as a motorcade carrying the body of the Rev. Billy Graham crossed the evangelist’s beloved home state of North Carolina for four hours from his mountain chapel to namesake library in the state’s largest city.

Residents in some of Graham’s most cherished places paid tribute Saturday to “America’s Pastor,” starting at the training center operated by his evangelistic association in Asheville. The motorcade rolled through Black Mountain, where he shopped and caught trains, and Montreat, where he lived.

Well-wishers lined sidewalks and medians as the motorcade reached Charlotte. Pallbearers, followed by family, carried the coffin into the Billy Graham Library, which will serve as a backdrop for the funeral.

Franklin Graham said he was fulfilling a promise to his father to bring the body to Charlotte. He said he was overwhelmed by “the outpouring of love.”

Leighton Ford, the evangelist’s brother-in-law, said the procession brought gratitude and tinge of sadness.

“I think he’d say, ‘It’s not about me. It’s about the Lord,’” said Ford. “I remember at his last stadium meeting here in Charlotte, the mayor of Charlotte told us he was riding out on the platform with Billy, and everybody was cheering, and Billy said, ‘Wait a minute. It’s not about us. It’s about Him.’”

Graham, who died Wednesday at his home in North Carolina’s mountains at age 99, reached hundreds of millions of listeners around the world with his rallies and his pioneering use of television.

A viewing will be held at the library in Charlotte on Monday and Tuesday. Graham also will lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday and Thursday, the first time a private citizen has been accorded such recognition since civil rights hero Rosa Parks in 2005.

The procession was part of more than a week of mourning that culminates with his funeral and burial Friday in Charlotte.


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