At the close of business on Thursday, Gov. Bill Walker issued the order to lower the U.S. and Alaska flags today in honor of the late Rev. Billy Graham.
Walker’s flag order was accompanied by a spare 38-word statement in recognition of the contributions of Dr. Graham, who passed away on Feb. 21:
“Billy Graham’s faith and legacy touched millions around the world, including many here in Alaska. First Lady Donna Walker and I continue to be inspired by his work, his spiritual journey, and his devotion to his fellow man.”
All governors and government properties lowered the flag on Friday per an order from the White House.
The Rev. Graham’s life and ministries influenced generations of Americans and people across the world, and he is the first religious leader in U.S. history to lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol, where his casket has been for the past two days.
Only three other civilians have been given that honor: Civil rights leader Rosa Parks in October, 2005 when Republican Sen. Ted Stevens was Senate President Pro Tem; and two Capitol police officers who died in the line of duty in 1998.
Graham’s casket was returned to North Carolina after two days in the Capitol Rotunda.
TRUMP, GOVERNORS INVITED TO FUNERAL
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are attending the services for Rev. Graham on the grounds of Graham’s namesake library in Charlotte, N.C. Sitting governors have also been invited.
Former Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell was seen traveling to the funeral on Thursday, but Gov. Bill Walker was not expecting to attend, as he is at an event in Anchorage. The attendance is by invitation only and is capped at 2,300. Security will be tight since it’s expected that much of the nation’s leadership will be present, including Vice President Pence.
Graham’s casket, shown above in a picture shared by his son Franklin Graham, is made of simple plywood and was built by convicted murderers at Angola Prison in Louisiana.