The body of Lewis crossed over the Edmund Pettus Bridge one last time Monday 55 years after he first crossed the bridge on what became known as “Bloody Sunday.”
Representative Terri Sewell (D-AL) said, “They beat him with billy clubs fracturing his skull, but John was determined to fight for equality and justice.”
His body arrived in Washington to lie in state at the U.S. capitol where Lewis served for 33 years as Georgia’s congressman.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said, “John’s life was about that. One nation, one country, one destiny. One perfect union.”
His family joins colleagues for a ceremony in Washington, then the casket will be moved outside to the east Capitol steps for a socially-distanced public viewing Monday and Tuesday.
Lawmakers want to honor his memory with action. “We need to pass the Voting Rights Act and we need to make sure that all Americans that are eligible to vote can vote in 100 days,” Representative Karen Bass (D-CA) said. It’s a vote John Lewis died while fighting for.
Lewis’ body heads home to Georgia Wednesday morning. He’ll lie in state at the state capitol before his funeral at Ebenezer Baptist Church where Martin Luther King preached. He’ll be buried in Atlanta.