On Tuesday morning at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, on the campus of Catholic University in Washington, about 800 mourners attended a funeral Mass for Gen. Alexander Haig. Among the priests conducting the liturgy was his brother, Father Francis Haig. The mourners included two of Gen. Haig’s fellow former Secretaries of State, Dr. Henry A. Kissinger and Gen. Colin Powell; Secretary of Defense Robert Gates; Sen. Joseph Lieberman; former National Security Advisor Robert “Bud” McFarlane; former US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton; former HEW Secretary Joseph Califano; comedian Mort Sahl; and many who have served or are serving in America’s armed forces.
During the Mass, Dr. Kissinger (as reported by Richard Szczepanowski of Catholic News Service) spoke about the service Gen. Haig rendered to the nation in helping to arrange the transition from one Presidency to another at a time of national tumult:
“He served as chief of staff in a diseased presidency,” Kissinger said. “He did not want the job, but he did not turn it down out of the reverence he had for the institution of the presidency.”
“At the end, Al was essential in helping this country through its greatest crisis since the Civil War,” Kissinger said. “Americans will remember Al with a special gratitude.”
Following the Mass, Gen. Haig was interred at Arlington National Cemetary, where his brother gave a blessing as his remains were lowered into the soil where so many fellow patriots and heroes rest. Here is a short article about the burial, accompanied by a two-minute video of the burial service. The American Spectator’s Quin Hillyer has written this account of the Basilica service. And here is the U.S. Army News Service’s press release about the burial.