~~July 26, 2020~~
FINAL BRIDGE CROSSING
A journey that began 55 years ago. Crossing over this bridge in Selma, Alabama, almost led to his demise. There was violence, police brutality, beatings, broken bones and blood.
Yet, he persisted!
The mission and the fight he was on continues to this day. During these times of uncertainty and civil unrest, his example still leads.
#RestInPower … Sir!!
The late US Rep. John Robert Lewis made his final journey on Sunday across the famous bridge in Selma, Alabama, where the towering civil rights figure helped lead a march for voting rights in 1965 that came to be a key part of his legacy.
Following a short ceremony outside of Brown Chapel AME Church on Sunday, July 26, Lewis’ body traveled on a horse-drawn caisson through several blocks of downtown Selma to the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where Lewis’ flag-draped casket crossed.
It was on that bridge that a 25-year-old Lewis and other marchers were met by heavily armed state and local police who attacked them with clubs, fracturing Lewis’ skull.
The final crossing provided a new chapter in the history of the bridge and Lewis’ relationship to it:
The concrete and steel structure that was once stained with blood during the violent clash was covered with rose petals on Sunday, a somber moment honoring the fallen civil rights icon that stood in marked contrast to the scene in which Lewis was brutalized 55 years ago.
A small group of family members – including Lewis’ son John-Miles Lewis, brothers Freddie Lewis, Samuel Lewis and Henry “Grant” Lewis, and the late congressman’s sister, Rosa Tyner – accompanied the caisson in part of the procession.
The black caisson was modeled after the one Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had for his funeral, with red-brown wheels and pulled by two black horses.
Lewis served as the US representative for Georgia’s 5th Congressional District for more than three decades and was widely considered the moral conscience of Congress because of his decades-long embodiment of the nonviolent fight for civil rights.
He was known for getting into “good trouble,” and by his own count, the longtime congressman was arrested more than 40 times during his days of civil rights activism.
Lewis visited the bridge earlier this year to mark the 55th anniversary of the historical march. In an emotional scene, Lewis locked arms with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress to commemorate the pivotal moment for Black Americans.
“It is good to be in Selma, Alabama, one more time,” Lewis said as he spoke to the crowd assembled on the bridge. “To take a little walk to try to dramatize the need for the rights of all our people to be able to participate in the democratic process.”
“As it appears in …. full read/full credit”
~~Published July 26, 2020~~
Rep. John Lewis funeral procession over the Edmund Pettus Bridge
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