Funeral of Gwen Ifill at Metropolitan A.M.E. church in Washington D.C. (Nov 19, 2016)

Funeral of Gwen Ifill at Metropolitan A.M.E. church in Washington D.C. (Nov 19, 2016)

*First lady Michelle Obama was among the thousands of mourners gathered at Metropolitan AME church in Washington, DC Saturday to bid farewell to Gwen Ifill.

The longtime journalist and co-anchor of “PBS NewsHour” died last Monday following a secret battle with endometrial cancer. She was 61.

Also attending the service was former Attorney General Eric Holder, who read a message from President Obama.

Eric Holder speaks at the funeral of Gwen Ifill on Saturday, Nov 19, 2016 at Metropolitan A.M.E. Church in Washington D.C.

Eric Holder speaks at the funeral of Gwen Ifill on Saturday, Nov 19, 2016 at Metropolitan A.M.E. Church in Washington D.C.

Holder compared Ifill to “a comet” and challenged Ifill’s colleagues to honor her legacy by holding those in power accountable.

“Will you cower? Will you normalize that which is anything but?” Holder asked, appearing to reference President-elect Donald Trump. HuffPost says the line “brought knowing applause from the savvy D.C. crowd and sheepish nods from the famous reporters in the church.”

 

“We didn’t look like other anchor pairs — and we loved that,” said Ifill’s co-anchor Judy Woodruff in her eulogy. The pair was the first all-woman anchor team on network TV. She added that Ifill is needed now “more than ever.”

“Never have we faced tougher challenges, and no one would’ve risen to them better,” she said. Ifill, she added, will “be our compass.”

John Dickerson, host of CBS’ “Face the Nation” who joined Ifill as a regular panelist on “Washington Week,” said Ifill “wore her grace like a garment,” but added her infectious laugh came with a withering scowl.

“I’m not going to say it in church, but there’s a very specific word for what Gwen could detect,” Dickerson said.

Watch video of Michelle Obama attending the funeral, below: