/World Rep. John Lewis taken across Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma
World Rep. John Lewis taken across Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma

World Rep. John Lewis taken across Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma


World Lewis changed into hit within the top with a billy membership at a march on the bridge in 1965.

July 26, 2020, 5: 22 PM

11 min learn

Extra than five a few years after he changed into slammed within the top by a white enlighten trooper’s billy membership while he led a march on behalf of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, the late Receive. John Lewis made one final crossing on Sunday.

In an emotional ceremony that symbolizes the 80-year-veteran Lewis’ lifelong work for civil rights, a total bunch of mourners watched the procession escort the congressman’s casket across the 1,284-foot bridge spanning the Alabama River. A horse-drawn caisson carried Lewis’ casket alone across the bridge.

In an act that Alabama Receive. Terri Sewell described a “poetic justice,” Alabama enlighten troopers saluted Lewis’ casket, draped in an American flag, because it crossed the bridge.

The somber bolt introduced Lewis fleshy-circle to the assign where he almost died as a 25-year-veteran on March 7, 1965, when Alabama enlighten troopers attacked him and diversified civil rights demonstrators in an incident that grew to alter into identified as “Bloody Sunday.” Lewis’ skull changed into fractured within the ordeal whereby then-Alabama Gov. George Wallace ordered troopers to make expend of the total force vital to quit the marchers from reaching their vacation assign at the enlighten capitol building in 1st viscount montgomery of alamein.

“I changed into hit with a billy membership, and I seen the enlighten trooper that hit me,” Lewis, who changed into first elected in 1987 to characterize Georgia’s 5th Congressional District, would snatch later during a federal listening to. “I changed into hit twice, as soon as as soon as I changed into lying down and changed into attempting to gain up.”

In subsequent interviews, Lewis talked about, “I believed I seen demise. I believed I changed into going to die.”

The 2d that Lewis changed into attacked changed into captured in data photos that opened the eyes of the area on the brutality civil rights marchers had been enduring within the South in a quest for vote casting rights and equality for Gloomy People.

“Our nation is extremely most practical off due to John Robert Lewis. My existence is extremely most practical. Selma is extremely most practical. This nation and this world are better due to John Robert Lewis,” Sewell talked about in a short service exterior the Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church in Selma. “John changed into sure to fight for equality and justice, inserting his have existence on the line within the service of others, and a brighter future for every person. John crossed bridges so repeatedly, insisting our nation are living up to the ideals on which it changed into founded.”

A 9-member armed forces honor guard carried Lewis casket from the church to the horse-drawn caisson.

Mourners lining the streets leading up to the bridge shouted “We worship you” and “We got this,” vowing to take care of on Lewis’ work for equality and racial justice.

Sunday’s tribute to Lewis came during a six-day celebration of the actual individual that grew to alter into identified because the “judgment of right and incorrect of the U.S. Congress.”

It also occurred as protests against police brutality persevered through the country within the wake of the police-enthusiastic demise of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The driver of the caisson carrying Lewis’ casket paused at the top of the bridge, where in 1965 Lewis described meeting a sea of blue enlighten troopers and decided to march into the face of the violent confrontation. The driver stood and eliminated his murky top hat for a 2d of silence old to carrying on.

Members of Lewis’ household, collectively with his son, John-Miles Lewis, met the caisson and fell in line at the lend a hand of the casket for the last steps across the bridge.

The Pettus bridge is named after a Confederate Military customary, U.S. senator and Klu Klux Klan chief. A proceed has been underway to alternate the name of the bridge to honor Lewis, who alongside with civil rights activist Hosea Williams led the 1965 march across the span on behalf of Rev. King, who couldn’t again.

Sunday’s bridge crossing commenced a day after Lewis changed into eulogized in his assign of starting up of Troy, Alabama.

Sunday’s march started at Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church in an match titled “#Appropriate form Agonize: Braveness, Sacrifice & the Lengthy March for Freedom.”

Lewis’ physique is scheduled to be taken later Sunday to Alabama Reveal Capitol in 1st viscount montgomery of alamein to lie in repose.

Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell announced final week that Lewis will likely be honored in a non-public ceremony within the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Monday, followed by an unprecedented public viewing taking assign exterior, as against inner, the Capitol building due to coronavirus concerns on Monday night and Tuesday.

Lewis will lie in enlighten at the top of the East Entrance Steps of the U.S. Capitol for the 2-day public viewing.

Lewis died on July 17, seven months after a routine clinical visit published that he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

He’ll be laid to relaxation on Thursday at South Search for Cemetery in Atlanta following a non-public funeral at Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, which the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as soon as led.

This fable changed into featured within the Monday, July 27, 2020, episode of “Delivery Right here,” ABC News’ every day data podcast.

“Delivery Right here” affords a straight forward scrutinize at the day’s top tales in 20 minutes. Hear at no cost every weekday on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, the ABC News app or wherever you gain your podcasts.