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John Lewis’ final return to Atlanta



ExploreComplete the John Lewis reporting

The governor and the mayor were in a heated fight, and Kemp sued Bottoms for demanding that people walk around the city wearing masks.

Bottoms said it was no accident that Lewis’s last public appearance, about a month before his death, was a visit to the Black Lives Matter Mural in Washington.

“Until his last days, he asked America to be America again in his words and deeds,”

; said Bottoms, adding that she had received news that Lewis had been watching the leadership in Atlanta and was proud of how she was COVID-19 dealt with crisis, peaceful protests and racist unrest.

“And so the governor knows that if the ‘good problems’ continue, it will be Congressman Lewis’s blessing,” Bottoms said to applause. “Although the struggle for freedom and equality continues, Congressman Lewis reminded us to be hopeful and optimistic and never lose hope.”

July 29, 2020 Atlanta - The Mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, noted as Congressman John Lewis on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in the Georgia Capitol Rotunda during the Congress, The Life and Legacy of Congressman John Robert Lewis

July 29, 2020 Atlanta – The Mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, noted as Congressman John Lewis on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in the Georgia Capitol Rotunda during the Congress, The Life and Legacy of Congressman John Robert Lewis “Honor (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub. [email protected])

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

ExploreObituary: John Robert Lewis: 1940-2020

Lewis died on July 17 at the age of 80. His funeral will take place on Thursday at 11 a.m. in the Ebenezer Baptist Church. A source reported to the Atlanta Journal constitution that President Barack Obama will speak. He is buried in South-View Cemetery next to his wife Lillian, who died in 2012.

Since the services on Thursday were private, Wednesday was reserved for the masses. Some of them have followed him since he was a leading civil rights activist, others remember him as a pioneering member of the congress in which he represented Atlanta and the surrounding area. All of them were drawn to Lewis’ humility and kindness.

“I was born in 1955, so I was 65 years old,” said mourning Patsy Norwood-Burton, referring to Blood Sunday when Lewis was brutally beaten when he tried to lead demonstrators across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma . “That was all I knew – Martin (Luther King Jr.) and John and Hosea (Williams) as well as Joseph Lowery and David Abernathy. There are so many doors that opened it for me. I am so grateful. “

After leaving Dobbins Air Reserve Base, where Lewis ‘family and Lewis’ body from Washington arrived, the first stop of the procession was at the Rainbow Crosswalk at 10th & Piedmont in Midtown, a memorial to Atlanta’s LGBTQ population. Lewis compared the struggle for equal treatment of LGBTQ persons with his work on the front of the civil rights movement.

Rep. John Lewis's coffin and motorcade pause along Auburn Ave near Jesse Hill Jr Drive in front of the hero mural where Karren Grant of Peachtree Corners respects the Congressman and his family on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 pays.  (Jenni Girtman for the Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Rep. John Lewis’s coffin and motorcade pause along Auburn Ave near Jesse Hill Jr Drive in front of the hero mural where Karren Grant of Peachtree Corners respects the Congressman and his family on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 pays. (Jenni Girtman for the Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Photo credit: Jenni Girtman

Photo credit: Jenni Girtman

ExploreSuitable place of the Ebenezer Baptist Church for the funeral of John Lewis

Throughout the procession, people wept or cheered as the hearse with its coffin with flag passed by. Many hurried to take a fleeting photo. Others stood in the air with their right fists. Others sang.

When an honor guard arrived at the Capitol, she carefully removed Lewis’s coffin from the hearse as a growing crowd cheered. At the steps of the Capitol were Kemp and his wife Bottoms, as well as Calvin Smyre (D-Columbus), who described Lewis as a “fearless warrior”.

“John, in your memory and as a legacy, you will continue to motivate, inspire and be a solid source of strength. You will be missed, but we will cherish the memories and moments, ”said Smyre. “They presented us with many challenges to find answers and certain principles that guide us. Your sign for America has been established and recorded forever. “

Kemp, who handed a flag of Georgia to the Lewis family, said while the country mourns the loss of Lewis, everyone should once again commit to the principles they have fought for: freedom, freedom and justice for all.

“His example taught us that if we work together and love each other, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain,” said Kemp. “And even today, as our country faces a public health crisis and new injustice-based challenges, I know that the example of Congressman Lewis, who literally crossed the aisle to embrace retired Republican Senator Johnny Isakson It will inspire us all to do the hard, necessary work to overcome our common challenges and to appear stronger. “

07/29/20 - Atlanta, GA - Georgia First Lady Mary Kemp (from left), Governor Brian Kemp, Mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, MP Calvin Smyre, lead MP John Lewis's body to the state capital.  On the fifth day of the

07/29/20 – Atlanta, GA – Georgia First Lady Mary Kemp (from left), Governor Brian Kemp, Mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, MP Calvin Smyre, lead MP John Lewis’s body to the state capital. On the fifth day of the “Celebration of Life” for Rep. John Lewis, Lewis’ body and family members returned to Georgia for ceremonies at the State Capitol, where he will also be in the state until his funeral on Thursday. Alyssa Pointer / [email protected]

Photo credit: Alyssa Pointer

Photo credit: Alyssa Pointer

ExploreJohn Lewis: Man of the People

After the brief public ceremony, the doors were opened to begin seven hours of public mourning.

The tour of the Capitol, where Lewis was only the fourth black person to be found in the Capitol Rotunda in the state, brought in a diverse amount, varied by age and ethnicity – some in dark black clothes, others in shirts with sayings such as ” I can’t ‘breathe’ or ‘good trouble’ – and they filled the second floor of the Capitol as they queued for their last chance to see the congressman.

At 7 p.m. Lewis’ brothers Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity performed a special rite for him. His body will remain in the Capitol until he is brought to the Ebenezer Baptist Church for funeral on Thursday morning.

In his comments on Lewis, Bottoms drew on Langston Hughes’ powerful 1935 poem: “Let America Be America Again.”

She quoted him: “Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed of – Let it be this big, strong country of love. Where kings never give in or plan tyrants. That every man is knocked down by one. “

Then she said, “About five years after these words were written, a descendant of a slave, the son of tenants, was born. We are gathering here today in a former Confederation stronghold because this prophet lived and loved this prophet named John Lewis. “

Photo credit: Tia Mitchell

The line for Rep. John Lewis closes shortly after 10 p.m., hundreds are still pending.

Photo credit: Tia Mitchell

Photo credit: Tia Mitchell

The line to view Rep. John Lewis at the Georgia Capitol opens again

Photo credit: Tia Mitchell




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