Obama to eulogize late Rep. John Lewis, conscience of the US Congress, at Atlanta funeral
Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton will also attend the funeral.
July 29, 2020, 10:49 PM
5 min read
Former President Barack Obama will eulogize the late Rep. John Lewis in a funeral service Thursday, wrapping up six days of memorials paying tribute to his life and his legacy as a civil rights icon.
Lewis, the son of Alabama sharecroppers, played an instrumental role in the passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act in 1965 and went on to serve more than three decades in Congress representing the 5th Congressional District of Georgia.
Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton will also attend the private funeral at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, which the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once led. Lewis will be buried in South View Cemetery in Atlanta on Thursday afternoon.
Lewis died on July 17 at 80 after a months-long battle with pancreatic cancer.
Funeral ceremonies began last Saturday in Lewis’ hometown of Troy, Alabama. On Sunday in Selma, 55 years after he and other demonstrators were beaten on “Bloody Sunday,” Lewis crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge for a final time. Where he was once met with batons, Lewis’ casket saw salutes from state troopers.
Members of Congress, his family, staffers and the general public paid tribute to Lewis Monday and Tuesday at the U.S. Capitol in a socially distanced ceremony, an unprecedented outdoor public visitation and overnight vigil in the Rotunda.
Lewis has now lay in state at the Alabama State Capitol, Georgia State Capitol and the nation’s Capitol, an honor reserved for the most-revered Americans.
Lewis’ family has asked members of the public not to travel to pay their respects, citing coronavirus precautions. They instead have suggested people pay tribute online using the hashtags #BelovedCommunity and #HumanDignity.