- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry will lie in repose for 24 hours at the District’s city hall beginning Dec. 4, kicking off a three-day series of remembrance services in his honor.

The events will culminate with a public viewing and memorial service at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Dec. 6.

City officials and Mr. Barry’s family members announced the details of memorial services on Wednesday. Mayor Vincent C. Gray said he expects tens of thousands will come to pay respects to the four-term mayor, who died Sunday at the age of 78.

“I can’t imagine the number. It will be tens of thousands of people, I think, who will come to this,” Mr. Gray said.

Neither the D.C. government nor the schools will be closed for the events, though Mr. Gray said government employees would be granted two hours of administrative leave to pay respects.



Barry family spokeswoman Raymone Bain said Mr. Barry made some directives on how he would like his services to be handled when he was hospitalized at Washington Hospital Center earlier this year for a blood infection, and that Mr. Barry’s family was working from that template of ideas.

The Barry family hopes the memorial events will “reflect his 52 years of public service.”

“To me it’s a celebration about one of the most iconic figures we’ve seen in the District of Columbia — and that includes the federal government also,” Mr. Gray said.

After the daylong closed-casket display at the Wilson Building on Dec. 4, a procession on Dec. 5 will take Mr. Barry’s body through each of the city’s eight wards and onto The Temple of Praise church in Southeast for memorial services that evening. The exact route has not been finalized but will be released ahead of time, organizers said.

On Dec. 6, a public viewing will take place beginning 8 a.m. at the convention center. A memorial service will last from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., followed by a private burial at the historic Congressional Cemetery.

The family is working to confirm who would speak at each of the services.

Though numerous suggestions have been made regarding memorials to Mr. Barry — from naming a road or even the University of the District of Columbia after him — officials brushed off questions about such a tribute at the Wednesday press conference on the arrangements.

“There certainly will be a fitting memorial,” Mr. Gray said, adding it should be left up to Mr. Barry’s wife, Cora Masters Barry, and son, Christopher Barry, to decide on the announcement of any further details.

Neither was present at Wednesday’s event.

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