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Journey to Honor Rosalynn Carter: A Gathering of Leaders

Former Presidents, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and a remarkable assembly of all five current and former first ladies – Jill Biden, Melania Trump, Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, and Hillary Clinton – came together on Tuesday to commemorate the life of former first lady Rosalynn Carter in Atlanta.

Showing his age, Carter arrived at the church in a wheelchair, his legs enveloped in a warm blanket, taking his place in the front row. The first ladies, excluding Melania Trump, donned dark blue or black attires, while Melania wore a gray coat.

Notably absent were former Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama, but the event, dubbed a “tribute service,” proceeded at the Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church on the Emory University campus.

Credit: Andrew Harnik/AP

The eulogies were delivered by former PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff, Amy and Jason Carter, the daughter and grandson of Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter, respectively.

Jason Carter elicited laughter with his welcoming remarks to the former first ladies and their “lovely husbands.” The last occasion where all living first ladies congregated was in 2018 for the funeral of former President George H.W. Bush at the Washington National Cathedral, a gathering also attended by the Carters and the Trumps.

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In 2007, a similar assembly took place for the funeral of former President Gerald Ford in Washington, which included George H.W. Bush, Barbara Bush, the Carters, and Nancy Reagan among the current and former presidents and first ladies in attendance.

Last week, Rosalynn Carter passed away at the age of 96 after receiving hospice care in her home in Plains, Ga., following a diagnosis of dementia.

Jimmy Carter, the longest-living president in American history, turned 99 on October 1 and, in February, made the decision to forego further medical treatment for an undisclosed illness, entering hospice care at his home.

Credit: Depositphotos

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The couple’s final public appearance occurred in September when they participated in the Plains Peanut Festival, a week before Jimmy Carter’s 99th birthday. From Atlanta, Rosalynn Carter will be transported to Plains for a private funeral at Maranatha Baptist Church, their home church, on Wednesday.

Subsequently, the casket will be transferred to a hearse and taken to the Carter family residence for a private interment, where Jimmy Carter intends to join her in rest.

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