John Lewis crosses the Selma Bridge for the last time

The remains of Rep. John Lewis will be carried across the Alabama bridge on Sunday where he participated in a civil rights protest decades ago, continuing the posthumous honors to the legislator who became an emblem of social struggles.

Already early Sunday there was a crowd on Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge, which became a battlefield 55 years ago when Lewis and other activists were beaten by police during a demonstration.

This time, the policemen stood in line, along the bridge, as guard of honor and to protect the procession.

The casket of Rep. John Lewis is moved over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in a horse-drawn carriage during a memorial service for Lewis, Sunday, July 26, 2020, in Selma, Ala. Lewis, who took the fight against racial profiling from the southern battlefields of the 1960s to the halls of Congress, died on Friday, July 17, 2020. (AP Photo / John Bazemore)


Lewis’s remains will be carried from one side of the bridge to the other on Sunday and then placed in the Alabama Capitol where they will be veiled.

Events honoring Lewis began Saturday in his hometown of Troy, Alabama. The casket will be brought to the Capitol in Washington next week, followed by a private funeral Thursday at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Martin Luther King Jr. preached.

Born in Pike County, Alabama, Lewis joined the civil rights fight at a young age. In 1965, along with other activists, he was beaten while participating in a march against racism in Selma. News coverage of the event eventually led the government to pass a law that would allow blacks the right to vote.
Some of those present on Sunday remembered the day they saw Lewis on television, participating in the march.

Family members, right, bow their heads

Family members, right, bow their heads as a carriage bearing the body of Representative John Lewis pauses for a minute’s silence as it makes the final crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, site of the historic marches on the right. to the 1965 vote, Sunday, July 26, 2020, in Selma, Ala. The Georgia congressman and civil rights icon died on July 17 at the age of 80 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. (Curtis Compton / Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)


“I felt compelled to come see John Lewis cross the bridge one last time,” said Frank Hill, an African American who drove more than four hours from Monroe, Louisiana, to witness the procession.

Lewis passed away at age 80 on July 17, several months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

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John Lewis crosses the Selma Bridge for the last time

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