More than 2,000 attend funeral service for John Seigenthaler - WNEM TV 5

More than 2,000 attend funeral service for John Seigenthaler

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

John Seigenthaler is being remembered for a lifetime of dedication to peace, justice, freedom, integrity and compassion.

He spent his life defending civil rights and a free press, and in the words of Father Charles Strobel he carried the same torch as the nation's founding fathers.

"He spent a lifetime coming to the defense of others, especially the poor and dispossessed, the marginalized, those segregated and left out," Strobel said.

The Cathedral of the Incarnation was filled to capacity on Monday as more than 2,000 gathered to remember his life.

Seigenthaler's son, John, chose not to canonize him but to share the traits that made him human.

"He was a terrible driver. It was, in part, because he really wasn't always a patient guy. Dad saw traffic signs not as orders to obey, but as mere suggestions," he said.

The elder Seigenthaler went to work at The Tennessean to help support his seven brothers and sisters, amassing a lifetime of stories that his grandson, Jack, loved to hear at bedtime.

"One of my favorite notes is an inscription on a pocket version of the U.S. Constitution he gave me. It reads, "To Jack. This is my Bible. Love, Grand,'" Jack said.

Seigenthaler was a champion of First Amendment rights and is known around the country for always fighting for the truth and never backing down from a challenge.

He was a man who impacted countless lives, not only in Tennessee, but throughout the nation.

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