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(ATLANTA) — Former President Jimmy Carter made a rare public appearance when he attended Tuesday’s memorial service for his late wife, Rosalynn Carter, who died earlier this month.

Jimmy Carter, who has been in hospice care since February, attended the tribute to his wife — who served as first lady from 1977 to 1981 — at Glenn Memorial Church at Emory University in Atlanta. The 99-year-old former president had a new suit made Monday for the occasion, and was accompanied by a physician when he left his home in Plains en route to the church.

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter were married for 77 years, the longest marriage of any first couple in U.S. history, and both built a lasting legacy outside the White House through their humanitarian work. Rosalynn became a champion for mental health advocacy.

Amy Carter, the first couple’s only daughter, tearfully read a letter Jimmy Carter wrote to Rosalynn 75 years ago while he was serving in the Navy. Amy Carter, who was seated next to her father, was often seen holding his hand throughout the service.

“My mom spent most of her life in love with my dad. Their partnership and love story was a defining feature of her life,” she said. “Because he isn’t able to speak to you today, I am going to share some of his words about loving and missing her.”

In the letter, Jimmy Carter wrote, “While I am away, I try to convince myself that you really are not, could not be as sweet and beautiful as I remember. But when I see you, I fall in love with you all over again. Does that seem strange to you? It doesn’t to me.”

A dozen political leaders were present at the the invitation-only tribute service for the former first lady, who died on Nov. 19 at the age of 96.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden sat in the front row along with former President Bill Clinton and former first lady Hillary Clinton, as well as former first ladies Laura Bush, Michelle Obama and Melania Trump.

The Clintons and Obama traveled to Georgia on Air Force One with the Bidens, according to the White House.

Also in attendance were Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Georgia Sens. Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.

The service began shortly at 1 p.m. and has featured music from members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearword are set to perform. Remarks will be given by Carter’s personal pastor and readings will be done by some Carter’s children and grandchildren.

President Biden was not slated to speak, the White House said Monday, but press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters he and first lady Jill Biden look forward to “offering their condolences and participating in the event by attending.”

Biden’s relationship with the Carters spans decades, back to when he endorsed Carter for the presidency while serving as a first-term senator in 1976. Biden said earlier this year that former President Carter has asked him to deliver his eulogy.

After Rosalynn Carter’s passing earlier this month, Biden said the former first couple shared great integrity.

“First Lady Rosalynn Carter walked her own path, inspiring a nation and the world along the way,” the Bidens said in a statement.

ABC News’ Joshua Hoyos contributed to this report.

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