North Carolina Lawmakers Propose Permanent Tribute to Billy Graham at U.S. Capitol

American evangelist Billy Graham, giving a speech on stage, circa 1970. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

As the late Rev. Billy Graham lay in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda this week before his Friday burial in North Carolina, some state lawmakers are proposing a more permanent tribute to the late pastor.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and several other lawmakers proposed that a statue of Billy Graham be placed inside the Capitol, Fox News reported.

Each state gets to choose two statues to be displayed inside the Capitol, but the statues must honor someone who is already deceased. A few years ago, lawmakers proposed that a statue of Graham be placed inside the Capitol, but the pastor was still alive at the time.

The legislation that passed in 2015 proposed that a statue of Graham replace the statue of former North Carolina Gov. Charles Aycock, a Democratic governor who served from 1901 to 1905 and was a known segregationist, the Raleigh News and Observer reported.

Three years later, Cooper made the same proposal.

“I ask the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress to approve the State of North Carolina’s request to replace the statue of Governor Charles B. Aycock in the Statuary Hall Section, and to provide a new statue of the late Reverend William Franklin ‘Billy’ Graham, Jr.,” Cooper wrote in a formal letter to the committee.

If the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress approves Cooper’s request, it is up to the Architect of the Capitol and the Joint Committee on Library Action to decide whether the statue will be installed in the Capitol.

Graham, who was also known as “America’s Pastor,” died February 21 at his home in Charlotte at the age of 99. Throughout his career, he provided spiritual counsel and met with every U.S. president since former President Harry Truman.

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