Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter’s tribute service on Tuesday drew a distinguished audience, including presidents, fellow first ladies, country music stars, and prominent guests. However, it was the spotlight on Rosalynn Carter’s unwavering faith, dedication to the nation, and global humanitarian work that defined the memorial. The former first lady, who passed away earlier this month at the age of 96, was honored at the Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church on Emory University’s campus in Atlanta.
A Musical Homage from Favorites of the Carter Family
The service featured music from some of the Carters’ beloved musicians, including performances by Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, close friends of the family.
Reverence for a Life of Faith and Love: Rosalynn Carter
Rev. Mark Westmoreland, pastor of Glenn Memorial, opened the service by emphasizing that it celebrated “96 years of faith and love.” Members of the Carter family read passages of scripture during the service.
Chip Carter’s Tribute to His Mother’s Guidance
Chip Carter, the second eldest son, referred to his mother as his hero and spoke about her being the “glue” that held the family together through life’s challenges. He highlighted her faith as a guiding principle in her work and interactions with Americans across the country.
Reflections on a Remarkable Woman
Kathryn Cade, Rosalynn Carter’s longtime aide and friend, described her as a “remarkable woman” who played various roles, including wife, mother, business manager, political strategist, diplomat, advocate, and author.
Jason Carter’s Acknowledgment of Grandmother’s Contributions
Jason Carter, another family member, reflected on his grandmother’s global impact, acknowledging her compassion, empathy, and dedication to eradicating diseases, championing women’s rights, and even protecting monarch butterflies.
Political Leaders Pay Respects
Political leaders and their spouses, including President Joe Biden, first lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, second gentleman Doug Emhoff, former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Melania Trump, Michelle Obama, and Laura Bush, were in attendance.
Amy Carter Reads Heartfelt Letter
Amy Carter, the Carters’ daughter, shared a touching letter that her father wrote to her mother during his Navy service, expressing his admiration for her.
Community Honors and Reflections
Outside the church, community members, including Emory University students and local residents, paid their respects. Andrew Hack, an Emory student, expressed the unity in honoring Mrs. Carter, regardless of status or background.
Legacy Echoes Beyond Georgia
Tributes and condolences poured in from beyond Georgia, reflecting on Rosalynn Carter’s legacy of kindness, grace, advocacy for the vulnerable, and her enduring marriage with Jimmy Carter.
Services Commence with Wreath-Laying
The commemoration of Rosalynn Carter’s life began on Monday with a wreath-laying at the Rosalynn Carter Health and Human Sciences Complex at Georgia Southwestern State University, her alma mater. All four Carter children were present.
National Recognition at the White House
Messages of condolence from around the nation were recorded in a book at the White House Visitors Center, highlighting Carter’s role model status, kindness, grace, and advocacy for women.
As Rosalynn Carter’s family and the broader community honor her life and legacy, the memorial service serves as a poignant reminder of her enduring impact on faith, compassion, and humanitarian efforts.