MONTGOMERY, Ala. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today 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.Cascades of roses covered her casket in a chapel bearing her name at Saint Paul A-M-E- Church, where she was once a member. A separate wing was opened for the overflow crowd.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.