NEW YORK - U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg's nearly three decades in office and the causes he championed were remembered at a funeral service in New York.
The service was held at Park Avenue Synagogue in Manhattan. The liberal New Jersey Democrat died Monday after suffering complications from viral pneumonia. At 89 he was the oldest member of the Senate and the last of 115 World War II veterans to serve there.
Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez and members of Lautenberg's family spoke at the funeral.
Biden said Lautenberg was the "definition of what it means to be a successful man."
"Frank Lautenberg was such a leader," Clinton said. "He dared greatly, and he led boldly. And we are safer, stronger and more prosperous because he did."
One of Lautenberg's grandchildren said his grandfather strove to make an impact on everyone he could. "He always had time to make an impact on someone's life," Aaron Hendle said. "And if he didn't have time, he made time"
A ceremonial service was held Wednesday afternoon at the Frank Lautenberg Rail Station in Secaucus before his casket was put on an Amtrak train to Washington. Lautenberg was a fierce advocate for funding of the rail service.
Lautenberg will lie in repose Thursday inside the U.S. Senate chamber. He will be buried Friday morning at Arlington National Cemetery.