In Alabama, they say goodbye to John Lewis

On Monday and Tuesday, the body of the late Congressman and civil rights campaigner will be displayed for farewell at the Capitol in Washington.

The body of the late Congressman John Lewis, who became a symbol of the civil rights struggle, was carried over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, on Sunday.

This is the place where Lewis and other civil rights demonstrators were beaten on “Bloody Sunday” in 1965. The ceremony opened the second of six days of events in memory of Lewis, who died on July 17 at the age of 80 after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer.

On Sunday evening, Lewis ‘ body will be taken to the Alabama capital of Montgomery, where Mayor Steven Reid invited people to line the sidewalks for the final stage of the procession. Authorities are asking people to wear masks and keep a social distance.

The Governor of Alabama Kay Ivey ordered the lowered a little flags on Saturday and Sunday in memory of Lewis.

Lewis ‘ body will be displayed for a farewell at the Alabama Capitol in Montgomery, then at the Georgia Capitol in Atlanta and at the Capitol in Washington.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell announced that visitors would be able to say goodbye to Lewis at the US Capitol on Monday and Tuesday.
Because of the pandemic, the farewell will be held next to the building, not in the Capitol rotunda, as usual.

Lewis, a Georgia Democrat, will be the second black lawmaker to have his body displayed in the Capitol for a farewell. The first was Congressman Elijah Cummings, who died last year.

The Lewis family said that a March would also be held in Washington next week, and the public will be able to show respect “while observing the rules of social distance.”

A memorial service for Lewis will be held on Thursday at the historic Avenue Ezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Martin Luther King was once a pastor. After the ceremony, which will be closed, Lewis will be buried at South view cemetery in Atlanta.

 

Two memorial services for Lewis were held in Alabama on Saturday.

At an open service at Troy University, five siblings and a great-nephew spoke of the deceased as a loving family man.

His brother Samuel said that his mother asked John “not to get in trouble and not to get in anyone’s way.”

According to Samuel Lewis, his brother did not heed his mother’s warning.

“We all know that John got into trouble and got in the way, but it was good trouble,” he said.

Lewis wanted to go to Troy University but was not accepted because it was then a white-only institution. Many years later, Troy University awarded Lewis an honorary doctorate.
Later on Saturday, a private ceremony was held at a chapel in Selma before another public farewell.

Lewis became famous as a leader in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s.

He was elected to Congress in 1986 and served 17 terms in the House of Representatives, where he represented Georgia.