A last - and lasting - memory of Rosa Parks

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November 13, 2005|By MONICA LOPOSSAY | MONICA LOPOSSAY,SUN REPORTER

It was an extraordinary day in American history, and I was there to record it for readers of The Sun.

Two weeks ago, a coffin bearing Rosa Parks, an iconic leader of the civil rights movement, was carried by a military guard out of the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, where she had been lying in honor - the first woman ever accorded such a privilege.

Her coffin was driven to the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church in Washington for a memorial service. As I sat in the church, I closed my eyes, trying to feel what was really happening before me. This was no history class, it was the end of a life remembered and celebrated, friends telling stories filled with laughter and tears, as it should be.

How did I want to remember this moment? If I realized that, then the rest would fall into place. My vision was of the casket passing people, who were surrounding it, touching it - saying goodbye. This was the last frame I got of Rosa Parks as she was carried out of the church that day.

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