Members of the Maryland General Assembly on Monday solemnly lined up outside the State House, as bagpipes played and state troopers carried in the casket of the late House Speaker Michael Busch, followed by his family.
Politicians, dignitaries and the general public gathered in the Maryland State House to pay their respects to the longtime speaker of the House.
Busch, D-Anne Arundel, died April 7, just one day before the last day of the legislative session — known as Sine Die — while being treated for pneumonia. He was 72.
A Maryland State Police procession escorted Busch’s casket — draped in a Maryland flag — and his family through a windy downtown Annapolis before stopping in the rotunda of the State House to lie in repose.
The members of the General Assembly filed in after the procession, while the public made their way through the opposite entrance of the building. Others filled the sidewalks and the grassy area outside the State House.
Several dignitaries, including Gov. Larry Hogan, R, gave remarks before the public visitation.
“Few have served Maryland with as much passion and dedication as Mike Busch did,” Hogan said early Monday afternoon. “And few will leave this earth as well-loved and esteemed as he was.”
Former United States Sen. Barbara Mikulski referred to Busch as “coach,” and Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, lauded his commitment to Maryland over the years.
Delegate Maggie McIntosh, D-Baltimore, teared up while speaking, calling Busch a “leader” and “friend.”
After the remarks, members of the General Assembly walked past Busch’s casket, some closing their eyes to say a prayer, and briefly speaking with Busch’s family before exiting the State House.
Another public visitation is scheduled for Tuesday before a procession escorting the casket for the funeral service. Following the service, Hogan is expected to present Busch’s family — his wife, Cindy, and daughters Erin and Megan — with the Maryland state flag from Busch’s casket.
According to a spokeswoman for Hogan, the governor has not yet received a request to call a special session to vote for a new House speaker.
By Daniel Oyefusi