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The funeral of legendary civil rights leader and long time Georgia law-maker, John Lewis, is making its way through Washington DC. Lawmakers came to pay their respects while Black Lives Matter Protestors watch the procession.
The late representative was carried in a black hearse across a section on 16th Street that was renamed “Black Lives Matter Plaza” in his honor. As the hearse drove by, citizens held signs reading “Rest in peace John Lewis” and “Make Good Trouble” while saluting.
Several politicians paid their respects and joined the funeral to see him off. House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, led a Delegation on Monday, July 27, 2020, to join Base Andrews in Maryland in order to pay respect to Lewis’ casket.
Presidential Nominee, Joe Biden, who became friends with Lewis over their time serving in Congress and Capital Hill together, is expected to visit the Capitol to pay his respects.
However, President Donald Trump was notably absent from the funeral. Their past relationship consists of both men publicly criticizing the other. Lewis criticized Trump for “stoking racial discord” and claimed he could hardly be called a president. Trump countered by calling Lewis’ Atlanta Congressional District “crime infested.”
In wake of Lewis’ funeral ceremony, the House has passed a bill establishing new federal commissions to study conditions that negatively affect African American men and boys.
Lewis was the youngest and last living featured speaker that presented at the March on Washington D.C. in 1963 when Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. Known as the “conscience of the Congress,” in the past Lewis suffered through the hardships in his life to get where he was today. From being beaten as a young activist by citizens and police officials alike, Lewis suffered like many other Black citizens at the hands of racism.
One of his most powerful quotes include,
“Freedom is not a state; it is an act. It is not some enchanted garden perched high on a distant plateau where we can finally sit down and rest. Freedom is the continuous action we all must take, and each generation must do its part to create an even more fair, more just society.”
Written by Brielle R. Buford
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
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Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Stephan Harlan’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License