Flags are flying at half staff in Mississippi to honor a Republican former U.S. Senator who brought billions of dollars to the state, U.S Senator, Thad Cochran. The first of two funerals services is taking place today at the Mississippi Capitol in Jackson. The second will be Tuesday at the church in the city. Cochran was 81 when he died Thursday in a veterans’ nursing home in Oxford, MS. He was the 10th longest serving senator in history. Cochran was elected to the U.S. House in 1972 and to the Senate in 1978, wielding power for several years as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He retired in April 2018. Cochran was dubbed the “Quiet Persuader” because of his gentlemanly demeanor. He was also known for working across party lines.