(NewsReady.com) – Renowned civil rights leader Representative John Lewis (D-GA) has become the first African-American to lie in state in the US Capitol. Lewis, who died on July 17, was flown from Montgomery, AL to Andrews AFB Monday morning. A short ceremony was held there before his body was driven to the Capitol and laid in state in the Rotunda.
Along the way, he was driven across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, AL, where he was seriously injured in a civil rights demonstration in 1965. In a gesture of reconciliation, Lewis was always opposed to renaming the bridge after himself.
Incredible image: John Lewis crossing the bridge in Selma, where he nearly died marching for voting rights 55 years ago, one last time pic.twitter.com/YUm7mvp8Ww
— Ari Berman (@AriBerman) July 26, 2020
Lewis’s casket will later be displayed on the East Front Steps for public viewing, as is traditional for lying in state. Political leaders including President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have urged the public not to travel to Washington, DC to take part in memorials for Lewis.
Instead, there have been a series of events across the country, starting with the lowering of all US flags to half-mast Saturday morning by order of President Trump. While Lewis and the president clashed many times, Trump described the veteran congressman as a “civil rights hero.”
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