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Mourners Share What Ruth Bader Ginsburg Meant To Them

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This week, thousands of people came down to 1 1st St. NE here in Washington, D.C. That's home of the Supreme Court of the United States. That's where Ruth Bader Ginsburg laid in repose for two days, her flag-draped coffin positioned behind the columns at the top of the court's front steps. NPR went there to speak with mourners to hear what drew them out that day and what the late Supreme Court justice meant to them personally.

PATRICIA BRENNER: I wanted to just come down here and be among the people that said yes, we care.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DEBBIE LEMONS-HALL: Before she started, women couldn't buy a house, open a charge card at a department store, without their husband's signature. You know, there's not very many people that can really change the world. But she did. She changed the world.

SOPHIA LARKIN: I cannot believe it. The last year, I lost my husband. I just really got down. I'm seeing a therapist and had so many, you know, just difficult time. But her death just kind of woke me up. We are not going to just give up.

LYN MONICA: I went and got a shot of bourbon, and I just sat there and drank that bourbon and cried. It's extremely hard being here today. I'm doing meditations as I speak because my heart is so full.

JANIKA COLEMAN: For a brief moment with everything we have going on, it's nice to see a variety of people here acknowledging the loss that this country has felt. You know, we might wake up tomorrow, and everybody's back beefing online. But for a second, we're out here doing the same thing and just paying respect. The same way when we recently lost John Lewis, I remind myself and my children that we are so fortunate to have lived in this life with Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

JEREMY STOKES: It's been a glorious, like, 87 years. She's been - had the opportunity to see the change of so much. We live on the shoulders and stand on the shoulders of giants, and she is that giant.

(SOUNDBITE OF MIKE OCEANIC AND TOM8'S "ELLE EST BELLE (ORIGINAL MIX)")

CORNISH: Those were the voices of Patricia Brenner (ph), Debbie Lemons-Hall, Sophia Larkin (ph), Lyn Monica (ph), Janika Coleman (ph) and Jeremy Stokes (ph) - some of the thousands of people who came to D.C. this week to pay their respects to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

(SOUNDBITE OF MIKE OCEANIC AND TOM8'S "ELLE EST BELLE (ORIGINAL MIX)") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.