WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- The memorial ceremony for Marion Barry took place at the Washington Convention Center Saturday, marking the end of three days of tributes to the District's "Mayor for Life."

Public viewing began at 7 a.m. and it was followed by a memorial celebration service, which started at 11 a.m. The ceremony ended around 4:00 p.m. and the procession made its way to the Congressional Cemetery, located at 1801 E Street, S.E.

PHOTOS: Marion Barry Memorial Service

A list of speakers at the memorial service was made available Saturday morning. Among them were Marion Barry's son, Marion "Christopher" Barry and Louis Farrakhan.

Christopher Barry told the crowd that when his father was gone, "I never felt his absence because I always felt the love from around the city." He also likened his father to a gardener, who planted seeds of hope and a brighter future for the city.

Farrakhan delivered a passionate statement that brought members of the audience to their feet. He said, "To sister Cora Masters Barry, to Marion Christopher Barry, to all of the brothers and sisters, Reverend Willie Wilson, and all those who made these four days possible, from the depth of my heart I thank you for putting together a program that rightly honors Marion Barry and his legacy. A life ends, the legacy begins.

"What a joy to hear his son speak the way his son spoke. Indeed, the legacy has begun. I'm honored beyond words to be here today to celebrate the life of our brother, our champion, our mayor, but not just a local figure but a man who's work was both national and international. I was introduced to Mayor Barry by my esteemed brother the Reverend Jesse Lewis Jackson and I found in Mayor Barry a brother, a companion in struggle, a man who loved God and loved the people of God, and loved humanity as a whole. And sometimes my dear Christopher, dad wasn't always there because some of us that come into this life are born for a higher purpose than just to work for our families and our vanities but to work for a people and to work for humanity. Such a man was Marion Barry.

"I was here in Washington when my brother went through his great trial and a reporter from one of the Washington newspapers came to me with a question, but before she asked her question she was building me up as some moral giant. Somebody who was married and had a good life, and didn't use drugs. And what do you think she said of a man who broke his marital vows and used drugs and -- I said 'who are you talking about? John Fitzgerald Kennedy?' Now that ended the press conference.

"It is not right or moral to speak of the dead in an unkind way. I only raised that for those who like to talk about our deficiencies while they hide the wickedness of their own leaders that have been over us and over the world. Nobody passes this life without committing sin, and when I said nobody, I mean nobody. the pope, the cardinals, the bishops, the president, nobody comes this way without committing sin. I am a sinner, and if i did not commit sin, I would not need the mercy, the beneficence, the forgiveness of God. So the holy Koran says if Allah were to punish man for his sins, not one soul would be left alive on the Earth. so will the holy ones please stand up? And I'm going to sit down."

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton also spoke about Marion Barry, saying, "If you want to understand Marion Barry as mayor....start with the boy chopping cotton..."

Taped remembrances were also shown during the memorial service. The crowd heard from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and civil rights leader Julian Bond. They were followed by Mayor Vincent Gray at the podium who spoke of how he got his first job under Barry. Former mayors Anthony Williams and Sharon Pratt stood behind him as he said, "Marion Barry's legacy is intimately woven into the fabric of the District of Columbia."

He later added, "Marion Barry will always be alive in the District of Columbia."

Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker also shared that he got his first job with Marion Barry's Summer Youth Program.

He was followed by President and CEO of National Urban League Marc H. Morial, former council members Sterling Tucker, Charlene Drew Jarvis, and D.C. Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser. Jarvis encouraged people to do something for their community in Barry's honor while Bowser announced that the summer jobs program will be named in his honor.

Bishop Thomas Masters, Mayor of Riviera Beach and the brother-in-law of Marion Barry, also shared a personal story about Barry.

WUSA9's Bruce Johnson also took to the podium, opening with, "On behalf of the other journalists, the cameramen, reporters and writers, I would like to thank Marion Barry for all of the overtime. It enabled us to send the kids to school, college, get a mortgage, put a little money in the bank and he reminded me of that quite often."

'You would be nothing if not for me.' And he was right.

"Reporters, if they're honest, they'll tell you we were as excited about Marion Barry becoming mayor as we were about Barack Obama becoming president. Good looking, young, exciting, different, good copy, big TV ratings, lots of newspapers sold.

Barry's widow, Cora Masters Barry, gave a very personal speech with her son Christopher by her side.

"His heart was so pure, he had the goodness of Jesus Christ. People would do terrible things to him not only would he forgive them, he would forget," she said.

The service ended with a eulogy by Rev. Jesse Jackson Jr., who spoke about their friendship that started over 50 years ago.

Residents attending the service were moved by the event. "I was very impressed with the number of District residents, business leaders and whole array of even some national figures that came out, so he was very very much admired and loved and I was impressed," one resident said.

"{It was} a beautiful experience, wonderful to be here and take part and give honor to the remembrance of Marion Barry," another said.

See all of our Marion Barry stories and archive video on our page dedicated to the #MayorForLife


A memorial service for Marion Barry was held at Temple of Praise in Southeast D.C. on Friday evening.

Hundreds and hundreds of people attended the ceremony, filling the Temple of Praise, and "overflow rooms" where people watched the ceremony on large screens.

Rev. Zina C. Pierre officiated the service while Bishop Glen A. Staples delivered the eulogy.

People attending the ceremony shared stories about Barry, and spoke of the influence he had on their lives. When the crowd was asked, " Who here has had a job, internship, or opportunity because of Marion Barry?" they erupted in cheers, reported WUSA9's Mola Lenghi.

A motorcade procession brought Marion Barry to the Temple of Praise Church in Southeast DC on Friday afternoon.

After people paid their respects to Barry at the John A. Wilson Building from Thursday through Friday morning at 9, the procession headed for the Temple of Praise. WUSA9's Delia Goncalves captured video of members of the crowd outside the Wilson Building on Pennsylvania Avenue cheering as the procession took off towards Temple of Praise Church in Southeast D.C.

One of the locations the procession passed through was Ballou High School, where the band was waiting outside to play alongside the hearse.


WUSA9's Bruce Johnson was at the church as the procession pulled into the parking lot at noon on Friday.

Watch coverage of the events on our live stream at www.wusa9.com.

See all of our Marion Barry stories and archive video on our page dedicated to the #MayorForLife


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