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Distinguished Politicians Attend Funeral

October 26, 2012, 6:03 PM by Hailey Higgins

Distinguished Politicians Attend Funeral

Several prominent politicians from South Dakota and across the country traveled to Sioux Falls on Friday to pay their respects to former Senator George McGovern.

McGovern's influence crossed party lines and inspired a generation of politicians. And on Friday, distinguished Republicans and Democrats came together to say goodbye to their friend.

"He spoke his conscience and he lead a lot of us at a critical moment of time," Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry said.

Kerry says he will never forget a speech McGovern gave in Boston against the Vietnam War in 1972.

"I was recently back as a veteran and opposed to the war. George gave voice for a lot of people to the realities of the choices we faced. I was inspired by him and impressed by his honesty and his decency," Kerry said.

Former Governor Mike Rounds worked against McGovern for Jim Abdnor's campaign but says McGovern quickly earned his respect.

"He was a family man, said exactly what he thought and worked hard for South Dakota," Rounds said. "Regardless if you are a Republican or Democrat, you have to admire Senator George McGovern."

And despite their political differences, Senator John Thune says McGovern always treated him well.

"He cared deeply about his fellow man," Thune said. "He did so many things even after his time in public office. Just really lived out his faith in so many ways and he tried to make the world a better place for those around him."

Former Vice President Walter Mondale and Colorado Senator Gary Hart were also in attendance at Friday's funeral, as well as Senator Tim Johnson, former U.S. Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Representative Kristi Noem and her democratic challenger Matt Varilek.

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