Procession begins for the late Rep. John Lewis before he lies in state at the US Capitol
Lewis is only the second Black lawmaker to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol.
July 27, 2020, 4:42 PM
7 min read
The physical presence of the late Rep. John Lewis — known as the “conscience of the U.S. Congress” — will reverberate through the chambers and halls of the U.S. Capitol for a final time this week.
The civil rights icon is being honored in a private, invitation-only ceremony in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, followed by an unprecedented public viewing taking place outside the building through Tuesday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, wearing a patriotic mask and sunglasses, stood on the flight deck Monday at Joint Base Andrews alongside Lewis’ family and current staff.
A procession shut down several streets in Washington as Lewis’ body was transported from Joint Base Andrews to the U.S. Capitol.
Following Monday’s private ceremony, Lewis will lie in state at the top of the building’s east front steps for public viewing. Visitors can pay their respects from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday and from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday. Masks are required and social distancing will be enforced.
The White House declined to comment on whether President Donald Trump will go to the Capitol Hill for the viewing.
Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence are expected to visit Monday evening, according to the vice president’s schedule.
Lewis is 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, a longtime Maryland democratic lawmaker, who died last October.
After Lewis’ casket was loaded into a hearse earlier Monday, a funeral procession will pass by landmark sites in the district, including the Martin Luther King, Jr. and Lincoln Memorials, the National Museum of African American History and Culture and Black Lives Matter Plaza.
The motorcade following the hearse consisted of at least 46 of the Georgia Democrat’s family and friends, including his only son, John-Miles Lewis, who was accompanied by his friend LaTasha Brooks; his siblings Samuel Lewis, Henry “Grant” Lewis and Rosa Tyner; his sister-in-law and a host of nieces and nephews.
Ceremonies on Capitol Hill followed a weekend that paid tribute to the late icon’s life, first in his hometown of Troy, Alabama. On Sunday in Selma, 55 years after he was beaten on “Bloody Sunday,” Lewis, the son of sharecroppers, crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge for a final time.
Following ceremonies in the nation’s capital, Lewis will lie in state at the Georgia State Capitol on Wednesday. He will be laid to rest on Thursday at South View Cemetery in Atlanta after a private funeral at Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, which the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once led.
A military honor guard is accompanying Lewis’s casket throughout the multi-day celebration of life.
ABC News’ John Parkinson and Mariam Khan contributed to this report.