NEW YORK (AP) — US Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s nearly three decades in office and the causes he championed will be remembered at a funeral service in New York.
A service was set for 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at Park Avenue Synagogue in Manhattan.
The liberal Democrat from New Jersey died Monday after suffering complications from viral pneumonia. At 89 he was the oldest member of the Senate and the last of 115 World War II veterans to serve there.
Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, US Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey and members of Lautenberg’s family were set to deliver eulogies.
A color guard ceremony was also scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at the Frank Lautenberg Rail Station in Secaucus, N.J., where his casket was to be put on an Amtrak train to Washington.
Lautenberg was an ardent defender of Amtrak and worked to secure hundreds of millions of dollars for mass transit projects.
His casket was set to arrive at the US Capitol on Thursday and lie in repose in the Senate chamber, on the Lincoln Catafalque, a bier that was built for the coffin of Abraham Lincoln.
Lautenberg, who served in the Army Signal Corps during World War II, will be buried Friday at Arlington National Cemetery.
A multimillionaire businessman, he was first elected to the Senate in 1982 and went on to serve nearly 30 years there in two stints.
He won his last race in 2008 at age 84, becoming the first New Jersey politician ever elected to five Senate terms. He had announced earlier this year he would not seek another term in 2014.
Early in his political career, he was a driving force behind the laws that banned smoking on most US flights and made 21 the drinking age in all 50 states.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press