My Experience With The Lincoln Catafalque

As our country mourns the loss of George H. W. Bush, you’ll be hearing a LOT about the Lincoln Catafalque. That’s the black-draped table that Bush’s coffin is set on while he lies in state at the U.S. Capitol. When I was working in the Washington, D.C., market in the early 90s, a college friend from Western Illinois University was doing her internship with one of the Illinois senators or congressmen. She was able to give me a REALLY cool tour of the capitol building. I was able to go into the Vice President’s wing (this wasn’t allowed for the general public after a bomb scare a few years earlier). I was ALSO allowed to go into the basement...underneath the rotunda. There was a large storage room down there...and very close to the entrance to that room was a large black table with a black velvet-looking blanket sitting on it. “What’s that?” I asked. She explained that it was the table that Abraham Lincoln was  displayed on while lying in state after being assasinated. It was literally three feet away from me. I thought to myself, “Wow...there’s a lot of history there.” LIttle did I realize that the wadded up...maybe it was folded, but not very neatly...velvet-looking blanket was part of it.  The Lincoln Catafalque. The structure that is now holding Bush #41 as we mourn his loss. And I got to see it up close and personal...in storage...in the basement of the capitol. RIP George H. W. Bush...

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