Hundreds gather at Alabama church for memorial to Rosa Parks - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Hundreds gather at Alabama church for memorial to Rosa Parks

MONTGOMERY, Ala.(AP)_ Hundreds of people attended today's memorial service in Montgomery for Rosa Parks, who inspired the civil rights movement by refusing to give up a seat on a city bus to a white man.

Cascades of roses covered her casket in a chapel bearing her name at Saint Paul AME Church, where she was once a member. A separate wing was opened for the overflow crowd.

Among the scheduled speakers was Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who sat in a front pew across the aisle from members of Parks' family.

Rice praised Rosa Parks for her activism in the civil rights movement.At today's memorial service in Montgomery for Parks, Rice said that she and others who grew up in Alabama during the height of Parks' activism might not have realized her impact on their lives.

"But," says Rice, "I can honestly say that without Mrs. Parks, I would not be standing here today as secretary of state."

Hundreds of mourners, politicians and activists attended a memorial service for Parks, who inspired the civil rights movement by refusing to give up a seat on a city bus to a white man.

Gov. Bob Riley credited Parks with inspiring protests against social injustice around the world.

Riley says he believes "God puts different people in different parts of history so great things can happen. I think Rosa Parks is one of those people."

The 92-year-old Parks died Monday.

Sitting at the front of the church as the service began were the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Rev. Al Sharpton, Gov. Bob Riley and Congressman Artur Davis of Birmingham.

Parks has been lying in honor at the church since Saturday, when hundreds of people slowly filed past her casket.

Later Sunday and Monday, Parks will lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C., becoming the first woman to do so.

The 92-year-old Parks died Monday.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 

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