Thousands of mourners gathered in and around the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., to pay their respects to at Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia‘s funeral Saturday morning.
Scalia’s son Paul delivered the sermon at the funeral mass, CNN reports, and gave a heartfelt eulogy for his father.
“God blessed Dad, as it’s well known, with a love for his country,” Paul said. “He knew well what a close-run thing the founding of our nation was. And he saw in that founding, as did the founders themselves, a blessing. A blessing quickly lost when faith is banned from the public square or when we refuse to bring it there.”
Funeral attendees included Scalia’s fellow Supreme Court justices John Roberts, Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as well as Vice President Joe Biden, Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich and Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz.
“The president and Mrs. Obama extended their personal condolences on behalf of the nation and expressed gratitude for Justice Scalia’s decades of public service,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement.
Scalia, who served in the Supreme Court for almost 30 years, died in his sleep on Feb. 13 while staying at the Cibolo Creek Ranch in Marfa, Texas. He was 79.