The remains of Matthew Shepard – the 21-year-old gay student who was brutally murdered in 1988 – were interred Friday at the Washington National Cathedral.

Shepard, a University of Wyoming student, was brutally murdered in 1988 by two men he met in a gay bar. He was left to die near Laramie. He died six days later at a hospital from severe head injuries.

Shepard's parents, Dennis and Judy Shepard, were among the thousands who attended a public service that took place before Shepard's ashes were interred in the church's crypt.

Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop of the Episcopal Church, and Mariann Edgar Budde, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, presided over the service.

During the service, Robinson appeared to take a swipe at the Trump administration, suggesting a similarity between the administration of President Ronald Reagan's opposition to gay rights and Trump's opposition to transgender rights.

“[T]he bigger picture here is what we human beings tend to do, which is to label someone different from ourselves as other, which is code for not really human, and then you can do anything to them that you like,” Robinson said. “Violence takes lots of forms. And right now the transgender community is the target. There are forces about who would erase them from America; deny them the right they have to define themselves. And they need us to stand with them.”

At the end of his homily, Robinson tearfully added: “So, I have three things I want to say to Matt. Gently rest in this place. You are safe now. Oh yeah, and Matt, welcome home.”

Dennis and Judy Shepard spent the better part of a decade lobbying for passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which was signed by former President Barack Obama in 2009. The Shepards also created the Matthew Shepard Foundation to fight for LGBT rights.

“It's so important that we have a home for Matt,” said Dennis Shepard. “A home that others can visit; a home that is safe from haters; a home that he loved dearly from his younger days in Sunday school and as an acolyte at his church back home.”

Buddle said that Shepard's remains will be protected “while his soul is safe with God and his spirit lives forever.”

On Thursday, the Shepards donated some of their son's personal items to the National Museum of American History. A candlelight vigil to remember Shepard was held in Dupont Circle on Thursday.