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Former U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman buried in CT

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore delivers remarks about his friend and former running mate, Joe Lieberman.
Molly Ingram
/
WSHU
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore delivers remarks about his friend and former running mate, Joe Lieberman.

Funeral services for former U.S. senator and vice presidential nominee Joseph Lieberman were held on Friday in Stamford, Connecticut. Lieberman died earlier this week due to complications from a fall.

Around 300 people were in attendance at Congregation Agudath Sholom.

Former Vice President Al Gore, who chose Lieberman as his vice president during the 2000 election, spoke about his friend during the service.

“We laughed together, fought like hell together for what we wanted our country to be,” Gore said. “Prayed together, thought for a season we had won together — but, well, you know that part of the story.”

U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D) and Richard Blumenthal (D) and former U.S. Senator Chris Dodd (D) also spoke. Murphy replaced Lieberman as U.S. Senator in 2013, and Blumenthal succeeded him as state senator and attorney general.

Blumenthal and Lieberman were friends for more than 50 years.

“In all the conversations I had with Joe, we would talk about our children, and his face would light with joy, and pride,” Blumenthal said. “And that's what I will always remember most.”

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal speaks about his friend of 50 years, Joe Lieberman, at his funeral.
Molly Ingram
/
WSHU
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal speaks about his friend of 50 years, Joe Lieberman, at his funeral.

Lieberman had four children — two from his first marriage, one from his second, and a stepson from his wife, Hadassah Freilich Tucker’s first marriage.

All four children gave a eulogy.

We will take care of Mommy who had the most incredible relationship with you. There was, and is, so much love between her and you,” said Hani Lowenstein, his youngest child. “We will build a generation of God-fearing Jews who will look back to you for inspiration of everything that is good and right.”

Joe Lieberman is survived by his wife, Hadassah Freilich Tucker, and his four children. Daughter Hani Lowenstein, dressed in a purple sweater, holds her mother's hand.
Molly Ingram
/
WSHU
Joe Lieberman is survived by his wife, Hadassah Freilich Tucker, and his four children. Daughter Hani Lowenstein, dressed in a purple sweater, holds her mother's hand.

Lieberman represented Connecticut as a state senator, state attorney general and U.S. senator. He passed away on Wednesday afternoon after a fall at 82 years old.

He announced that he would not seek a fifth Senate term in 2011, acknowledging that he had been something of a political anomaly — but that it was in an attempt to best serve his constituents.

“I have not always fit comfortably into conventional political boxes — Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative,” Lieberman said. “ I have always thought that my first responsibility is not to serve a political party but to serve my constituents, my state and my country, and then to work across party lines to make sure good things get done for them."

Molly ingram
/
WSHU

Lieberman began his political career with 10 years in the Connecticut State Senate. He then served as the state’s attorney general (current U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal became AG when Lieberman left the position).

He began his first term in the U.S. Senate as a Democrat in 1989. He retired in 2013 as an independent.

While in the Senate, he helped to create the Department of Homeland Security after the attacks on 9/11. He also helped to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro cited both of those policy accomplishments in a statement.

“Although we often disagreed on the issues, I know our purpose for service was aligned: fighting for the hardworking families of Connecticut,” DeLauro said. “Stan [DeLauro’s husband] was proud to work on his first campaign for the U.S. Senate and his campaign with Al Gore that won the popular vote. And Connecticut was never prouder than to see Joe run for vice president.”

The 2000 election was a defining moment in his career — he became the first Jewish person to win a major party nomination for vice president on Al Gore’s ticket. Gore and Lieberman won the popular vote in that race but were defeated by George Bush and Dick Cheney in the Electoral College.

He also made an unsuccessful run for president in 2004.

CT Governor Ned Lamont delivers remarks about Joe Lieberman at his funeral.
Molly Ingram
/
WSHU
CT Governor Ned Lamont delivers remarks about Joe Lieberman at his funeral. Connecticut's congressional delegation, past and present, watches on.

In 2006, Lieberman lost the Democratic nomination for U.S. senator to current Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont (D). He defeated Lamont as an independent in the general election.

Lamont admitted that the two had many differences — specifically, the war in Iraq, which Lieberman supported and Lamont did not — but said they remained friends after the race.

“While the senator and I had our political differences, he was a man of integrity and conviction, so our debate about the Iraq War was serious,” Lamont said. “I believe we agreed to disagree from a position of principal. When the race was over, we stayed in touch as friends in the best traditions of American democracy. He will be missed.”

Most recently, Lieberman had been working with No Labels, a nonpartisan group that pushes bipartisanship in government. The group is fielding a third-party ticket for the 2024 presidential election.

According to Lieberman’s family, another memorial event will be announced in the future.

A woman watches with an American flag as the funeral procession drives by. "It's the least I can do," she said.
Molly Ingram
/
WSHU
A woman watches with an American flag as the funeral procession drives by. "It's the least I can do," she said.

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.