Hundreds Pay Respects To Sargent Shriver | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Hundreds Pay Respects To Sargent Shriver

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Former colleagues and admirers gathered to offer condolences to the family of Sargent Shriver Friday evening at a public wake at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Georgetown.

The line for the wake stretched around the block as hundreds of people pay their respects to a man who spent the bulk of his 95 years serving others.

Shriver was the founder of the Peace Corps, and that drew many people who served overseas with the organization, including Pamela Benson and her son-in-law Michael. Benson served in Peace Corps in the '60s and says Shriver's legacy will live on through the organization.

"...I do think that the organization is here today because of his determination and his values. He said it shouldn't be like a government bureaucracy...five years should be the limit...I think that's why it's still here," Benson says.

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) says Shriver helped put nearly 250,000 Americans in 139 countries. Shriver also helped President Lyndon Johnson carry out parts of his "War on Poverty," until he was named an ambassador to France.

Tony Bell of Alexandria, Va., paid his respect wearing a Shriver vice presidential pin from his 1972 campaign with George McGovern.

"You look at what he accomplished -- both he himself and his late wife -- was just phenomenal. Very few two people changed the world as much as they did," Bell says.

An invitation-only funeral mass will be held Saturday. Shriver's family hails from Maryland, but he will be buried by his wife Eunice in Hyannis, Mass.

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