State Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy, RI's Speaker Pro Tempore, traveled to Washington, D.C. earlier this month to pay his respects to former President George H. W. Bush. Flying on the same Southwest flight as Congressman Jim Langevin, who was seated right in front of him, Kennedy arrived on a bitter cold Dec. 4, and joined one of the two long lines leading to the Capitol at 9:05 p.m. While the lines slowly meandered the roughly two miles to the Capitol, Kennedy said a “blustery breeze” rushed through “the crowd of tens of thousands in 32 degree weather” as they stood on granite stone that was "frost bite" cold. Kennedy arrived at the entrance to the visitor’s center at 12:20 a.m., went through security, got in another line and finally reached the rotunda entrance just after 1 a.m., during the Changing of the Guard watching over the former President's casket.
“After spending time in the Capitol paying my respects to President Bush, I signed a guest book and left the Capitol building around 1:20 a.m. Wednesday morning,” said Kennedy, “four hours and fifteen minutes after the vigil began.”
"It's a testament to the memory of President Bush that so many people would wait so long to pay their respects," said Kennedy who said he enjoyed talking to people from around the country as he waited in the line.