Former Maryland Senate president Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D) returned one last time to the Maryland State House Thursday evening — the place where he had presided and served for so many years.
Miller’s casket was carried into the State House rotunda by several state troopers who had served in his security detail over the years, following a slow procession past several key landmarks in Southern Maryland, which Miller represented in the General Assembly for five decades.
Miller died last Friday at the age of 78.
The casket was met at the State House by Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R), House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County), and Miller’s successor, Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City). A private viewing for members of Miller’s family followed.
A more public viewing is scheduled for Friday, beginning at 8 a.m. — though due to social distancing restrictions necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is by invitation only. A host of elected officials and other dignitaries, including members of Congress and former Maryland governors, are expected to attend.
At noon, the state Senate will convene for a two-hour tribute to Miller, with Ferguson, Hogan and more than 15 current and former senators scheduled to speak. Miller’s portrait, which hangs in the back of the Senate chamber, was surrounded by black bunting all week.
After the Senate adjourns, visitation will resume at 3 p.m., with local elected officials, State House and legislative staff, and friends and other invited guests through 7 p.m. Then, the State Police Honor Guard will conduct exit ceremonies for Miller, and his former troopers will bring his casket out of the State House.
A state police motorcade will lead the procession of family vehicles and will proceed from the State House down Rowe Boulevard with the casket until U.S. 50. Members of police and fire departments from District 27 and the surrounding areas have been invited to line the slow lane of outbound Rowe Blvd. to give a final farewell salute as the procession passes.
A public website has been set up so members of the public can visit virtually with Miller and leave notes to his family. Members of the public can view the visitation at https://governor.maryland.gov/maryland-senate-president-emeritus-thomas-v-mike-miller-guestbook.
The family will have a private mass and internment on Saturday morning. The mass, which will begin at 11 a.m., will be held at St. John the Evangelist in Clinton, and will be streamed to the public through the church’s Facebook page.