WASHINGTON – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty hosted a celebration of life Wednesday honoring the late Congressman Alcee Hastings.
The event was held in the Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol.
Because of the pandemic, the ceremony was a seated, invitation-only event.
All attendees were required to wear a KN95 mask for the entirety of the event.
Hastings, who was from South Florida, died April 6 at age 84 following a battle with pancreatic cancer.
First elected in 1992, three years after he was impeached as a judge, Hastings was in his 15th term in Congress representing District 20, which includes parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties. He convincingly won re-election in November.
“It is with profound sadness and the deepest sense of loss that we announce the passing of the Honorable Alcee L. Hastings,” his family said in a statement after his death. “He lived a life of triumph over adversity and his brilliance and compassion was felt amongst his constituents, colleagues, the nation and the world. He lived a full life with an indelible fighting spirit dedicated to equal justice. He believed that progress and change can only be achieved through recognizing and respecting the humanity of all mankind. He was never afraid to speak his mind and truly loved serving his constituents and his family. He will be dearly missed but his legacy and fighting spirit will forever live on.”
Congressional leaders and colleagues used the memorial service to remember him as a straight-talking champion for the disadvantaged who overcame hurdles in his own life.
Fellow lawmakers recalled the professional and social bonds they’d formed with Hastings. No. 3 House Democratic leader James Clyburn of South Carolina called Hastings a consoler, a counselor and a friend.