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Fort Atkinson teacher, students witness Stephen Hawking burial

17 June 2018

While that message was being sent into the galaxy, family, friends, and celebrities gathered at Westminster Abbey to remember and celebrate the life and legacy of Hawking.

A memorial stone will be put in place atop the burial spot with the inscription: "Here lies what was mortal of Stephen Hawking 1942 - 2018".

"We shall give thanks for Stephen Hawking's remarkable gifts and for his life: for his years as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge and for his global reach and influence as a scientist; for his personal courage, endurance, and perseverance living with motor neuron disease; and for his family and friends", Hall said.

Designed by artist John Maine, the memorial stone is made from Caithness slate from the north of Scotland and was chosen to represent deep space.

"Astronaut Tim Peak also gave a reading, as did Nobel-prize victor Kip Thorne who said: "[Hawking] absolutely refused to let his physical disability get in the way of doing great science or get in the way of having great fun".

"He shared Darwin's agnosticism, but it is fitting that he too should be interred in this national shrine".

"His name will live in the annals of science", Astronomer Royal Martin Rees told the memorial service. Nobody else since Einstein has done more to deepen our understanding of space, time and gravity. When he was diagnosed, aged 22, he was given only a few years to live.

Stephen Hawking's ashes to be buried in Westminster Abbey
Fort Atkinson teacher, students witness Stephen Hawking burial

"Millions have had their horizons widened by his books and lectures, and even more worldwide have been inspired by a unique example of achievement against all the odds", Rees said. But he lived for decades with the disease, using a wheelchair to move and a computer system to speak.

A message from late British astrophysics giant Stephen Hawking was beamed towards the nearest black hole on Friday as his remains were laid to rest in London's Westminster Abbey.

Vangelis, who wrote music for Blade Runner and Chariots of Fire as well as the Cosmos: A Personal Voyage scientific docuseries, crafted the six-minute tribute piece; it features a message of peace and hope from Hawking.

Hawking's first wife Jane and daughter Lucy were among an eclectic crowd that included scientists and schoolchildren; politicians including U.K. Culture Secretary Matt Hancock and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn; Chic guitarist Nile Rogers; actress Lily Cole; comedian David Walliams; and talk-show host Piers Morgan. Hawking's children have expressed their gratitude to the abbey for allowing their father to have a distinguished final resting place.

The most famous and celebrated man in science, Professor Stephen Hawking, will see his words beamed into space after the Westminster service.

"He absolutely refused to let his physical disability get in the way of doing great science or get in the way of having great fun".

Fort Atkinson teacher, students witness Stephen Hawking burial