Democrats, Republicans will honor Rep. Don Young during Lying in State ceremony

Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 3:45 PM AKDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Alaska’s longtime Representative Don Young is being honored this week in Washington after passing away at the age of 88. Friends, family, and former colleagues will say goodbye to the late “Dean of the House”, with tributes beginning on Capitol Hill with a Lying in State ceremony Tuesday.

Members from both parties find Young deserving of the ceremony. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) says he and Don Young did not agree on much politically, but, “I got along with the Dean. I got along with Don Young.”

Grijalva serves as the Chair of the Natural Resources Committee, a title Young held when Grijalva entered the House in the early 2000s. Grijalva recalls trying to bring an amendment to the committee that involved Alaska.

“I got a historical lesson, a political lesson, and a personal lesson from Don Young about me daring to speak about Alaska without checking with him first. That’s Don Young,” said Grijalva.

Grijalva commends Young’s never-ending fight for his state, especially Alaska natives. Grijalva says he plans to attend the Lying in State ceremony Tuesday for the late giant of the House. The honor was most recently given to the late Senator Harry Reid of Nevada. It is a rare tribute, but after Young’s five decades of service in the House, and his impact on the Last Frontier, Grijalva says it is fitting.

“The track record of what resources he brought to Alaska and how he created a profile for Alaska is without question,” said Grijalva.

Alaska’s senators are looking forward to paying tribute to their late friend Tuesday.

“You’re going to see dozens and dozens of House members, and senators who served in the House with Don Young before coming to the Senate, Democrats and Republicans, who are going to pay their respect,” said Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK).

Sullivan says it’s a fitting sendoff for a larger-than-life figure. He says a Lying in State is a great way for Alaskans to say goodbye to their late representative but also, for all Americans to pay their respects, given Don Young’s lengthy service.

“Every single member of the House right now, when they joined the House, Don Young was there,” said Sullivan. “I think what’ll be really good for Alaskans to see is the overwhelming extent to which so many other members of the House want to do this as well.”

Sullivan says the outpouring of condolences from both sides of the aisle tell the story of Don Young: a man willing to work with anyone, especially if it helped his beloved state.

“One of the key things is just how relentless he was. Just how relentless he was. Everybody knew where Don Young stood,” said Sullivan.

Young’s casket is set to arrive on Capitol Hill around 10:30 a.m. ET. The Lying in State ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. ET and Young’s casket will remain in the Capitol Rotunda until 2:30 p.m. ET.

Wednesday there will be a memorial service for Young in Great Falls, VA, just outside of the nation’s capital.

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