Fellow senator recalls Lautenberg as tenacious

Associated Press
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The casket containing the body of U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg is carried into the Park Avenue Synagogue in New York, Wednesday, June 5, 2013. Lautenberg's nearly three decades in office and the causes he championed will be remembered at a funeral service in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

NEW YORK (AP) — New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez is describing fellow Sen. Frank Lautenberg as "one of the most tenacious men I have ever met."

Menendez spoke Wednesday at Lautenberg's funeral at a synagogue in New York City filled with dignitaries, including Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. They are also both scheduled to speak.

Menendez says Lautenberg was tenacious, "but in the best sense of the word."

He says Lautenberg's story "was an American story, but in his heart and in his lifetime, he was a man from New Jersey, a kid from Paterson."

Lautenberg, a liberal Democrat from New Jersey, died Monday after suffering complications from viral pneumonia. At 89, he was the oldest member of the Senate and the last World War II veteran to serve there.