Hundreds remember Carson at memorial service

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Phil Scott/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - Political leaders from Indiana and around the nation spoke in memory of Congresswoman Julia Carson Friday evening at the Indiana Statehouse.

"I truly believe that this Indiana woman broke through barriers for us," said LaKimba DeFadier-Woods of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. "She was our Rosa Parks."

And it was Parks for whom Carson sponsored in a 1996 bill to award the civil rights icon the Congressional Medal of Honor.

"She walks like Rosa and talks Rosa," said Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee of Texas. "We better not go against what she wants us to do."

Carson, who died last Saturday at the age of 69 following a battle with cancer, was remembered as a faithful friend and gifted leader.

"We always said of her, we were glad she was our friend, and not on the other side," said former Gary mayor Richard Hatcher.

A religious woman, Carson never used her faith for political gain.

"She didn't prostitute the church or pimp Jesus to get where she was, and then forgot how she got there," said Reverend Theron Williams of the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church.

More than five hundred friends, fans and family of the late congresswoman turned the statehouse memorial from tearful to cheerful.

"Put your hands together," said Reverend Jesse Jackson. "For her teaching, for her leading, for her bridge-building! Let me hear you scream!"

In the end, they all shared the sentiments of Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson.

"Goodbye, Julia. I love you," he said.