Selma salutes Congressman John Lewis
By WSFA Staff | July 25, 2020 at 8:00 PM CDT - Updated July 25 at 8:48 PM
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Civil right icon and longtime Congressman John Lewis was remembered Saturday night in celebration of his life at historic Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church in Selma.
The church played an important role in the civil rights movement, serving as the site of mass meetings ahead of major events.
In Selma, many of those events, like the Selma to Montgomery march, centered around voting rights.
Lewis served alongside Dr. Martin Luther King as a leader of that march, and in an earlier attempt, his skull was fractured when he was beaten by state troopers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
At the service Saturday, we heard from fellow footsoldiers, local and state leaders, and Martin Luther King III. WSFA 12 News Anchor Valorie Lawson served as emcee.
The speakers reminded people of the sacrifices Lewis made so the country could be where it is today. They talked about how humble and peaceful Lewis was, and how he relentlessly fought for justice.
Many of the speakers not only wanted people to remember Lewis’ legacy but to also let that legacy drive others to fight for justice today like he did for so many years.
The remembrance of John Lewis continues Sunday in Selma with what organizers are calling “The Final Crossing.” At 10 a.m., a military honor guard will accompany Lewis as he crosses the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
The public is invited to view the processional as it travels from Brown Chapel to the bridge. The family asks attendees to wear face and mouth coverings.
From there, Lewis will be taken to Montgomery. He will be received at the state Capitol at 2 p.m. There he will lie in state from 3 to 7 p.m.
He will be the third person in the history of Alabama, who did not serve as governor, who have lain in state at the Capitol.
Once Lewis’ body leaves the Capital Cit for Washington for more events next week, the city of Montgomery will host the final Alabama vigil. It will be at Bicentennial Park - the grassy area across the street from the Capitol - from 7 to 8 p.m.
WSFA 12 News will have live coverage of Sunday’s events.
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