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Six-day celebration of life for Rep. John Lewis begins Saturday

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Six-day celebration of life for Rep. John Lewis begins Saturday

Lewis, 80, died last Friday, after a months-long battle with pancreatic cancer.July 24, 2020, 4:40 PM7 min read The late Rep. John Lewis — a civil rights and voting rights icon known as the “conscience of the U.S. Congress” — will cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, for a final time this weekend.…

Six-day celebration of life for Rep. John Lewis begins Saturday

Lewis, 80, died last Friday, after a months-long battle with pancreatic cancer.

July 24, 2020, 4:40 PM

7 min read

The late Rep. John Lewis — a civil rights and voting rights icon known as the “conscience of the U.S. Congress” — will cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, for a final time this weekend.

It’s part of a six-day celebration of life paying tribute to his legacy beginning on Saturday in his hometown of Troy, Alabama. Over the next week, Lewis will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol, Alabama State Capitol and Georgia State Capitol.

A public service celebrating “The Boy from Troy” will take place Saturday morning at Troy University, where Lewis will lie in repose in the afternoon. Saturday evening, a private ceremony will honor Lewis at Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church in Selma ahead of another public viewing.

On Sunday morning, a procession will be held across the bridge in Selma where Lewis and other voting rights demonstrators were beaten 55 years ago on “Bloody Sunday.” Sunday’s march from Brown Chapel to the Edmund Pettus Bridge is titled “#Good Trouble: Courage, Sacrifice & the Long March for Freedom.”

Lewis will lie in state at the Alabama State Capitol following the procession.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced late Thursday that Lewis will be honored in a private ceremony in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Monday, followed by an unprecedented public viewing taking place outside, as opposed to inside, the Capitol building due to coronavirus concerns on Monday night and Tuesday.

According to the lawmakers’ joint statement, face masks will be required and social distancing will be “strictly enforced.”

The Georgia Democrat will be the second Black lawmaker to lie in state at the Capitol, a tribute reserved for the most revered Americans, following the late Rep. Elijah Cummings who died last October.

There will also be a procession through Washington, D.C. next week, details of which his family will announce, where the public can pay their respects “in a socially-distant manner.”

On Wednesday, Lewis will lie in state at the Georgia State Capitol.

Lewis will be laid to rest on Thursday at South View Cemetery in Atlanta following a private funeral at Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, which the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once led. A military honor guard will accompany Lewis’ body during all the events.

Citing coronavirus precautions, Lewis’ family has asked members of the public not travel from across the country to pay their respects. They instead have suggested people pay tribute online using the hashtags #BelovedCommunity and #HumanDignity. The ceremonies will be live-streamed on multiple platforms, including ABC News Live.

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His family also encouraged the public to tie a blue or purple ribbon on their front doors or in their yards to commemorate Lewis’ life.

Lewis, 80, died last Friday, after a months-long battle with pancreatic cancer. The civil rights icon served 17 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives serving the 5th Congressional District of Georgia.

His final public appearance was a visit on to the Black Lives Matter Plaza across from the White House on June 7.

ABC News’ John Parkinson and Mariam Khan contributed to this report.


ABC News


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