Melania Trump, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and other first ladies attended Rosalynn Carter's memorial ceremony, who died on November 19th, at the age of 96.
Rosalynn Carter was former president Jimmy Carter's wife and partner for almost 77 years.
Carter's casket was driven through her hometown of Sumter County, where hundreds of people came to say their final goodbyes.
The motorcade stopped at Plains, Georgia, and at Georgia Southwestern College, where she graduated in 1946.
There will be two funerals for the former First Lady, one in Atlanta on Tuesday and one in Plains on Wednesday.
Several celebrities and politicians attended the burial today, including President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden.
Some of the attendees at today's service shared their thoughts on Jimmy Carter's late wife and the impact she left behind.
Michelle Obama was joined by current Vice President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, and Bill and Hillary Clinton. All of these people were in attendance to honour Rosalynn Carter.
President Carter, who was grieving the loss of his wife, made his first public appearance in over a year and opted not to speak during the funeral.
It is usual for both current and previous first ladies to attend the funerals of former first ladies. During Rosalyn Carter's burial in Georgia, Melania Trump and Michelle Obama took the lead in guiding the group of past first women into the ceremony.
Michelle Obama, who wore all black for the event and had her hair in a high ponytail, had earlier written a heartfelt tribute to Rosalynn Carter following her passing, sharing a photo of the two at the White House.
“When our family was in the White House, every so often, Rosalynn would join me for lunch, offering a few words of advice and always — always — a helping hand,” she wrote. “She reminded me to make the role of First Lady my own, just like she did. I’ll always remain grateful for her support and her generosity.”
Melania Trump was also pictured in a grey coat walking with Obama, the Clintons, and First Lady Laura Bush at the burial. Despite their husbands' differences of view, she penned a memorial to Carter upon her death, praising her for her support of President Carter.
“She leaves behind an important legacy in her work to destigmatise mental health,” she wrote. “We join our fellow citizens in sending our condolences to President Carter and their family.”
Throughout the event, First Lady Jill Biden maintained a serious demeanour. President Biden issued a statement on Carter's passing on behalf of their family. “On behalf of a grateful nation, we send our love to the entire Carter family and the countless people whose lives are better, fuller, and brighter because of Rosalynn Carter.”
Hillary Clinton shared a touching tribute, revealing that she was friends with Carter for 40 years. “Rosalynn Carter will forever be remembered as the embodiment of a life lived with purpose. I’m grateful for more than 40 years of her friendship and thinking today of President Carter, her family, and all the many people who loved her,” she wrote.
Laura Bush, George W Bush's wife, also issued a statement. "We mourn the death of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter." She was a dignified and strong woman. There was no bigger supporter of President Carter, and their alliance exemplified dedication and fidelity. She leaves a significant legacy in her efforts to de-stigmatise mental illness. We join our countrymen in expressing our condolences to President Carter and his family."
Amy Carter, Rosalynn and Jimmy’s daughter shared an emotional speech at the funeral. “My mom spent most of her life in love my dad,” she said. “There their partnership and love story was a defining feature of her life. Because he isn’t able to speak to you today. I’m going to share some of his words about loving and missing.”
A highlight of her speech was when she read a letter Jimmy Carter sent to Rosalynn while he was stationed in the Navy 75 years ago: “My darling every time I have ever been away from you, I have been thrilled when I returned to discover just how wonderful you are. While I’m away I tried to convince myself you could not be as sweet and beautiful as I remember.”
Jason Carter, a grandson of the Carters, spoke lovingly about his grandmother. “My grandmother doesn’t need a eulogy, her life was a sermon.,” he said. “She was born just a few years after women got the right to vote in this small town in the south where people were still plowing their fields behind mules.”
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