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Lines wrap around halls to pay respects to Byrd


Inside the Senate chamber, the body of the late Sen. Robert Byrd is at the center of the well, his flag draped casket resting on the same platform built for Abraham Lincoln.

His daughters, sons in law, grandchildren and great-grandchildren children are seated to the side receiving guests. Among those paying their respects so far, current and former members of Congress, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, daughter of former President Johnson, and Lynda Bird Johnson Robb.

Byrd's Senate staff fills one section of the public gallery. Lines are wrapped around the halls where staffers and members of the public wait to enter. Uniformed Capitol Hill police officers with black striped badges stand guard. That honor guard changes shifts with a slow procession down the center aisle and a salute.

There is no video coverage. The C-SPAN cameras are off. One news photo will be released after the family leaves the floor. That is exceedingly rare. The last Senate floor memorial in 1969 was photographed only by a Senate employee not a journalist.