Over the weekend, civil rights leader John Lewis took a final journey over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., during a ceremony that recognized the former congressman’s history with the place he memorably marched on Bloody Sunday.
Lewis was carried across the bridge in a horse-drawn carriage on Sunday, reports the Washington Post, as part of a slate of events to honor the life of a man who spent his life fighting for racial justice.
Hundreds of bystanders gathered to watch the body of the “Conscience of Congress” travel from Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church in Selma where he had laid over the weekend, to the bridge which Lewis famously crossed in 1965 as part of a march for civil rights that was met violently by state troopers who cracked the then-young activist’s skull.
From the Washington Post:
Two horses and a driver led the flag-draped casket, which paused for two minutes at 10:55 a.m. Central time when it reached the top of the bridge above the Alabama River. On the other side, the words of “We Shall Overcome” could be heard as family, hundreds of onlookers and several troopers greeted Lewis.
A military honor guard moved the casket from the caisson to a hearse for the trip to Montgomery, where he will lie in state. Alabama state police were accompanying Lewis to the capital.
“It is poetic justice that this time Alabama state troopers will see John to his safety,” Rep. Terri A. Sewell (D-Ala.) said.
Lewis died earlier this month at 80 years old from pancreatic cancer after serving in Congress for 17 years as a Representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district. His body will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol today, after a special ceremony, which about 80 lawmakers are expected to attend.
Members of the public will be able to view Lewis’ body from outside the East Round Steps of the Capitol building on Monday evening and all day Tuesday, while socially distanced and wearing masks. The politician will then go on to lie in state in the Georgia State Capitol. On Thursday, Lewis will be laid to rest after a private celebration of his life at the Ebenezer Baptist Church Horizon Sanctuary in Atlanta.