Mayor Lee Kinnamon Describes Rosalynn Carter’s Funeral Service in Atlanta

Published 6:13 pm Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Mayor Lee Kinnamon gave an interview on December 4th, sharing what it was like to attend the funeral of Rosalynn Carter at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church in Atlanta.

“Mrs. Kinnamon and I were honored to represent the City of Americus last week at the national tribute service held in Atlanta for former U.S. First Lady Rosalynn Carter and were greatly moved by the beautiful words and music offered as a memorial to the life and legacy of this bright light of love. We gathered with people from across the nation and the world who came together to honor an extraordinary woman who called Plains and Sumter County her home.”

Kinnamon further described the breadth of Rosalynn Carter’s influence.

“Karen and I were greatly inspired about what we heard about the life and work of former first lady Rosalynn Carter, her contributions, not just on a national and international level, but to the local community and to her own family.”

He recalled being particularly moved by what her grandson, Jason Carter, had to say about the influence she had on so many in his family.

“It was inspiring that she was doing that in the midst of being the former first lady of the United States. We tend to forget that she’s a mother and a grandmother and a great grandmother to this family, this large family. So many beautiful words said about that role in the midst of all of these extraordinary accomplishments on the national and international stage.”

When asked if there was one moment where Kinnamon felt the historic nature of the event hit home, he responded.

“The whole thing was a moment in history. Any time that you’re pulling together on such an occasion, living former first ladies, the current President of the United States and first lady, and two former Presidents, President Carter, and President Clinton, plus all of the other enormously important current political figures and elected officials, any time you are doing that, you are in the midst of history.”

When asked about those in attendance, he mentioned several local and national leaders.

“We were seated in the section with current elected officials representing both state, federal and local jurisdictions, including our two U.S. senators, our state senator Freddie Powell Sims, U.S. Senators Warnock and Ossoff, our second congressional district congressman Sandra Bishop was seated in our section, Representative Mike Cheokas from the Georgia General Assembly was seated in our section.”

Kinnamon mentioned even more dignitaries were seated behind him.

“Seated behind us in a section of additional VIPs was former U.S. ambassador Andrew Young and his wife and the former President and Vice President of the republic of Panama were seated immediately behind us.”

For Kinnamon, those who attended underscored the breadth of Rosalynn Carter’s legacy.

“Their presence there honoring her was significant, especially for the current President and First Lady. It’s customary for the first ladies to attend a funeral of one of their own, but to have presidents as well there is a significant thing.”

He talked further about the causes she had championed globally that had led to such an impact.

“It was extremely moving to hear the tributes concerning such projects as the eradication or near eradication of Guinea worm disease. She was devoted to the care of humanity, and cared deeply about alleviating unnecessary suffering, suffering that’s really within our control to address, and she felt it her duty to address it where she found it and saw it, and she did.”