Over 94,000 sign petition calling for national holiday honoring Billy Graham

(Reuters/Robert Padgett)Billy Graham speaks at the dedication of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2007.

More than 94,000 people have signed a petition that calls for a national holiday in honor of the late Rev. Billy Graham, who was laid to rest next to his wife last week at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Change.org petition, which was initiated by user Kyle Siler, highlights Graham's contributions to the Christian world as well as his relationships with past U.S. presidents. It is addressed to President Donald Trump and both houses of Congress, as well as North Carolina Sens. Thom Tillis, Richard Burr and Jerry Tillman.

"Mr. Graham preached the Gospel to more people in live audiences than anyone else in history—nearly 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories—through various meetings, including Mission World and Global Mission," the petition stated.

"Hundreds of millions more have been reached through television, video, film, and webcasts. Mr. Graham's counsel was sought by presidents, and his appeal in both the secular and religious arenas is evidenced by the wide range of groups that have honored him, including numerous honorary doctorates from many institutions in the U.S. and abroad," it continued.

The petition initially called for 75,000 signatures and had reached more than 65,000 as of Monday morning. It has been signed by more than 94,800 people as of March 7, with the goal of reaching 150,000.

Graham, who passed away on from natural causes at his family home in Montreat on Feb. 21, was only the fourth private citizen in U.S. history to lie in honor at the Capitol Rotunda, where the public was able to pay their last respects from Feb. 28 - March 1.

His funeral in Charlotte was attended by Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who were escorted by Graham's grandson, a Major in the United States Army, according to Fox 8.

The service, which was set in a revival tent at the foot of a 40-foot glass cross, featured tributes from Graham's five children, as well as performances from Christian recording artists such as Michael W. Smith and the Gaither Vocal Band.

The funeral was also attended by presidents of at least five entities of the Southern Baptist Conventions, namely Danny Akin of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Chuck Kelley of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Paige Patterson of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, David Platt of the International Mission Board, and Thom Rainer of LifeWay Christian Resources.

The late evangelist's coffin, a plain, pine casket, was built by inmates at the Louisiana state prison.

Last week, Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles declared March 2, 2018 as "Billy Graham Day," which is a "citywide expression of gratitude and appreciation" for the achievements of the popular evangelist who came to be known as "America's pastor."

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