People gather at a prayer service to remember McGovern - KOTA Territory News

People gather at a prayer service to remember McGovern

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Vice Pres. Joe Biden speaks at pray service (AP pool photo) Vice Pres. Joe Biden speaks at pray service (AP pool photo)
(AP pool photo) (AP pool photo)

Friends and admirers of George McGovern pay their respects to the former Senator and Democratic Presidential Candidate during a public viewing Thursday, followed by a prayer service.

The service lasted for several hours as people told stories and shared memories to honor the late Senator.

"We always called him Grandpa George," remembers Matt McGovern, George McGovern's grandson.

"To the rest of the world he was an inspirational, dedicated, and honest public official," said Berniece Mayer, a family friend.

People gathered together in song and prayer to share memories of a man who inspired so many.

"When I think of George, I think of a man with uncompromising integrity," said U.S. Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota.

"What George McGovern taught me more than anything else was that you speak your mind," said Steve Hildebrand, Democratic Political Strategist.

"I admired him from the day I became aware of him, until the day he died," said Joe Biden, Vice President of the United States.

Biden said it was an honor to know and work with McGovern.

"Your father gave courage to the people who didn't have the courage to speak up. He was a good, decent man," said Biden.

A man many remember for his unwavering strength.

"Your father had more courage, more physical courage in his little finger then 95% of those guys," remembered Biden.

But also a man who's spirit many hope to emulate.

"More politicians on both sides should learn more from George McGovern, he taught us that you work hard and you work together to get things done," said Hildebrand .

McGovern's grandson Matt said despite all his political accomplishments, he always wanted what's best for his family.

"He'd greet us with a big hug and a big smile and he'd say 'look who's here', and he'd just make us feel great," said Matt McGovern.

Matt said he always admired his grandfather; a sentiment shared by many who knew him.

"This guy at 90 never stopped. He never stopped helping, advocating, writing, speaking," remembered Hildebrand.

Funeral services are scheduled for Friday at 1 P.M. at the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls.

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