Hundreds, including VP Joe Biden, expected to attend Specter funeral

ElectionsArlen SpecterPoliticsCivil and Public ServiceJoe BidenMike Vereb

A Pennsylvania icon will be laid to rest today. Arlen Specter died Sunday after a long bout with cancer. The five-term United States Senator played a major role in some of the country's most intriguing moments.

Just the name Arlen Specter draws different responses from so many people especially right here in Pennsylvania. The moderate lawmaker spent 30 years in the U.S. Senate taking part in some of America's biggest moments. Today will mark the end of an era.

"Senator Spector will long be remembered for his service to the commonwealth and to the country and he will be missed," said Senator Pat Toomey, (R) Pennsylvania.

Today marks the final curtain call for a Pennsylvania legend. Eighty two-year-old Arlen Specter will be laid to rest in a public service near Philadelphia.

"Obviously this was an individual who had a great impact on the commonwealth but the nation as whole," said Governor Tom Corbett, (R) Pennsylvania.

A five-term United States Senator, Arlen Specter passed away Sunday of complications from non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The sometimes controversial Specter is being remembered as a fierce lawmaker who always voted his beliefs, no matter the situation.

"And the fact is that some of those qualities made him a tough political opponent as I discovered first hand were also the qualities that made him a strong advocate for Pennsylvania," Senator Toomey said.

Specter's political career spanned five decades and included some of the biggest moments in modern American history. Specter took part in the Warren Commission's investigation of President John F. Kennedy's death, ultimately promoting the single-bullet theory.

The Philadelphia resident caught heat for his questioning of Anita Hill during Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Justice Clarence Thomas in the 1990s. His last political move was defecting from the Republican party in 2010 to try and win reelection.

"Unfortunately we lost a machine, a machine that when he took a task he finished it. There's not too many of them left in the system," said Representative Mike Vereb, (R) 150th District.

"There wasn't a corner of the commonwealth that didn't feel the impact of his five decades of devoted public service," said Lt. Governor Jim Cawley, (R) Pennsylvania.

Flags at the State Capitol have been ordered to fly at half-staff to honor the life and service of Arlen Specter. Today's funeral in suburban Philadelphia is expected to draw some 1,500 people including Vice-President Joe Biden.

Specter is survived by his wife, two sons and four grandkids.

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