President Biden, Obama pay tribute at memorial for Sen. Harry Reid

Former Sen. Harry Reid in 2016. Reid died on December 28, 2021. His funeral on Saturday included a number of major political figures, including President Joe Biden and former president Barack Obama. File photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

Jan. 8 (UPI) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer were among those to speak at the memorial for the late former Sen. Harry Reid on Saturday.

Joe Biden also delivered remarks, while former President Barack Obama will gave the eulogy for Reid, the former Democratic senator from Nevada.

Reid died Dec. 28 after a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer.

“You wanted Harry in the foxhole with you. His willingness to fight by my side, to stick with me even when things weren’t going our way,” said Obama.

“His willingness to be there and fight would last throughout my presidency. It is a debt to him that I could never fully repay.”

Biden, who spoke last, called Reid “one of the greatest Senate majority leaders in history.”

“For Harry, it wasn’t about power; it was about the sake of power. It was about the power to be able to use power to do right by people. That’s why you wanted Harry in your corner,” said Biden.

Reid, the former Senate Democratic leader was first elected in 1986 and served as a senator from 1987 until retiring in 2017.

Schumer, who succeeded Reid as Senate Democratic leader, called him a “dear, dear friend” and “the most incredible individual I have ever met.” He referred to Reid as his mentor, “tough as nails, a fighter to his core.”

Schumer also touched on Reid’s time as a U.S. Capitol Police officer, where he worked while attending George Washington University Law School.

Reid’s sons and daughter spoke at the service, which also featured a musical performance by Brandon Flowers, a Nevada native and lead singer for Las Vegas band The Killers. Flowers was a favourite of Reid’s and one of his songs was Reid’s final musical request, outlined during a touching speech by his son Josh.

Reid’s body will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Jan. 12.



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