Alabama Governor Kay Ivey ordered flags lowered on Saturday and Sunday in memory of the civil rights activist and Congressman.
A six-day series of events dedicated to the memory of legendary human rights activist and member of the US House of Representatives John Lewis begins on Saturday in his hometown of Troy, Alabama, and will end next week with a funeral in Georgia.
On Saturday morning, a memorial service will begin at Troy University, during which visitors will be able to honor Lewis ‘ memory. Later in the day, a private farewell ceremony for the lawmaker will be held at a chapel in Selma, Alabama.
On Sunday, Lewis ‘ body will be carried over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, where he and other demonstrators took part in a protest in 1965 during “Bloody Sunday.” Then his body will be taken to the capital of Alabama, Montgomery, where mayor Steven Reid urged people to go outside to say goodbye to the famous countryman. The city authorities asked residents to wear masks and keep a distance.
The Governor of Alabama Kay Ivey was ordered to lower flags on Saturday and Sunday in memory of Lewis.
The deceased will also be able to say goodbye at the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery, the Georgia state Capitol in Atlanta, and the US Capitol in Washington.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell announced earlier this week that visitors could pay their respects to Lewis at the Capitol in Washington on Monday and Tuesday.
Because of the coronavirus, public farewells will take place outside the Capitol building, not inside the Capitol rotunda. Lawmakers declared strict observance of social distance and the wearing of masks.
The Georgia Democrat will become the second black lawmaker to have a farewell ceremony at the Capitol, after Congressman Elijah Cummings, who died last year.
Lewis ‘ family said a March would also be held in Washington next week, and members of the public will be able to pay their respects to the deceased.
Lewis ‘ funeral will take place on Thursday at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Martin Luther King Jr. once served as pastor. Lewis will be buried at South view cemetery in Atlanta.
Lewis died last Friday at the age of 80, after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer.
He became famous as the leader of the modern American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. At the age of 23, he began working closely with King and remained the last living speaker of the famous rally held in March 1963 in Washington, where King delivered his famous “I have a dream” speech.
The civil rights movement led Lewis to a political career. He was elected to the Atlanta City Council in 1981 and to Congress in 1986, calling the latter victory “the honor of a lifetime.” He was elected 17 times to the US House of Representatives from the fifth district of Georgia.