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Bill Clinton joins thousands to pay respect to Billy Graham

by Kiara Alfonseca /

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Former President Bill Clinton paid his respects Tuesday to Billy Graham and spoke fondly about seeing the famed preacher in person.

Clinton was just 11 when he saw Graham, known as "America's Pastor," speak in Little Rock, Arkansas.

“Every time I think about him, I’m 11 again, having no idea how my life would turn out,” said Clinton during his visit to Graham's childhood home in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Graham, who died last week at the age of 99, preached to millions around the world, and acted as a counselor and minister to a dozen presidents.

Photos : Mourners bid farewell to Billy Graham

Clinton joined more than 6,000 mourners, inspired by Graham's crusades, who came from across the country and around the globe to pay their respects during the public viewing of his casket in the Billy Graham Library.

Graham's funeral will be held Friday in Charlotte; his body will lie in repose in the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Wednesday and Thursday.

Graham was a presence during Clinton's time as governor of Arkansas and a common visitor to the Clinton White House. Former President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush visited Monday to pay their respects.

"He was profoundly good man who conveyed his central beliefs," Clinton said of Graham.

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