This afternoon, at a packed Washington National Cathedral, the funeral of all-star AFL quarterback, longtime New York congressman, 1996 Republican vice-presidential candidate, and dedicated economic and social trailblazer Jack Kemp was held. Originally it was planned for his own Presbyterian church, but when it became clear that many more wished to attend the service than that building could hold, it was moved to the structure sometimes called “America’s church.”
And, as was to be expected, this was a quintessentially American service in its inclusiveness; Mary Kate Cary at US News And World Report’s website reports that it attracted “the most diverse crowd I’ve ever seen at a Washington funeral.” An Episcopal priest conducted a Presbyterian service; the Howard University choir sang; and many yarmulkes were seen among those assembled. All races and walks of life were represented: blue-collar workers joined Senators, liberals joined libertarians.
Ms. Cary reports that the most memorable eulogy was delivered by former Nixon White House chief counsel Chuck Colson, who eloquently observed that “Jack Kemp was indomitable as few of us are.”
Indeed, we would be blessed as a nation if our current crop of leaders had more of Kemp’s blend of indomitability, compassion and vision.