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Mourners pay respects to Sen. Dianne Feinstein at San Francisco City Hall

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

Vice President Kamala Harris is among those expected to attend today's memorial service for the late Senator Dianne Feinstein. The service, originally opened to the public, has now been closed due to increased security. But as KQED's Scott Shafer reports, mourners got a chance to pay their respects to the former San Francisco mayor at City Hall.

(SOUNDBITE OF STRING QUARTET PLAYING)

SCOTT SHAFER, BYLINE: A string quartet played on the steps of the grand City Hall Rotunda Wednesday as public officials, former staff members and ordinary citizens filed past a flag-draped coffin. Among those in line was Erica Moreno (ph), who brought her three daughters, all too young to know much about Feinstein.

ERICA MORENO: I would like my daughters to know that she was a trailblazer and that when you have tenacity, big dreams and willingness, you can accomplish all.

SHAFER: She was a good role model for women and girls.

MORENO: She was an excellent role model. And I just hope that my daughters can look back at this when they're in their 20s and really understand the power of what this moment is going to mean for them.

SHAFER: San Franciscan Paula Farmer (ph) said she came to show appreciation for Feinstein's five decades of public service.

PAULA FARMER: Just really acknowledging the trailblazing work that she's done from her inception of being the mayor and going on to the Senate and all of the fine work that she's done over the years. It's just been an amazing run. And no matter the conflict that people have as her last years, I think that the work that she did outweighed all of that.

SHAFER: Twenty-seven-year-old Andrew Shia (ph) wasn't even born when Feinstein took office after Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated in 1978. But he appreciated what she did for the city.

ANDREW SHIA: I just remember that her long Senate career especially, and her contributions to San Francisco when she was mayor in terms of gay rights, in terms of transit, a lot of it really impacts all of us, even in the present day. Yeah. Like, without her, I don't think we'd have cable cars or the streetcars today.

SHAFER: Among the first to pay homage to Feinstein was House Speaker emerita Nancy Pelosi, who has known and worked with Feinstein for decades.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

NANCY PELOSI: She was a person of greatness. She was a stateswoman. She was a national figure, but she was as personal as the poorest person in our city. She always cared.

SHAFER: Pelosi, who is politically more liberal than Feinstein was, joked about their differences.

PELOSI: She and I were not on the same place on the political spectrum, so we had our fun with it all. But from a personal standpoint, my family loved her. We were neighbors. We were friends.

SHAFER: Pelosi will be among those speaking at Feinstein's memorial service today, along with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and a recorded message from President Joe Biden.

For NPR News, I'm Scott Shafer in San Francisco. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Scott Shafer