At a memorial service held Friday at Temple Emanu-el synagogue in New York, Hillary Clinton encouraged continued resistance in her rousing eulogy for civil rights icon Edith “Edie” Windsor.
Windsor, who died Tuesday at the age of 88, was the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that successfully struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 2013, paving the way for national marriage equality.
“Doesn’t it just feel great being here to honor and remember someone who had such a positive, lasting influence on our country and the world?” Clinton asked the crowd.
“When I think of Edie, I think of that line from A Midsummer Night’s Dream: ’And though she be little, she is fierce.’ She was fierce.”
“It is fitting that she will be immortalized in history books in that landmark decision synonymous with equal rights and dignity under the law,” said the former Secretary of State. “But she didn’t stop there. She continued to support the needs and the rights of the LGBT community. She helped change hearts and minds, including mine. And we are forever grateful to her for that.”
“There wasn’t a cynical, defeatist bone in her body,” Clinton continued. “Through her determination and sheer force of will, she brought us another step closer to that more perfect union. Now, in this moment when so much hard-fought progress is hanging in the balance, it is up to all of us to pick up where she left off. We really owe it to her.”
“It’s easy to grow weary fighting these fights, but remember Edie Windsor who took on and won against the U.S. government,” she added. “She pushed us all to be better, stand taller, dream bigger.”
Clinton concluded her speech with a quote from poet Mary Oliver: “Tell me what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
“Let us continue to be inspired by Edie’s wild and precious life,” she said. “And let us make her proud every day of how we answer that question for ourselves.”
Prominent LGBT community members and allies, including President Barack Obama, paid tribute and offered condolences in the wake of Windsor’s death. A candlelight vigil was held Wednesday outside of the historic Stonewall Inn to commemorate her trailblazing activism.
Watch Clinton’s full speech below.