Rep. John Lewis remembered with last crossing over Edmund Pettus Bridge

Monday, July 27, 2020
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Civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis' casket was carried over the famous Edmund Pettus Bridge one last time.

SELMA, Alabama (KTRK) -- Red rose pedals covered the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Sunday as Rep. John Lewis's body was taken across for one final crossing.

It's the very place that helped define Lewis' life. The bridge is a pivotal landmark where he fought for racial justice. On the Edmund Pettus Bridge is where Lewis led hundreds of marchers demanding equal voting rights.

"We were beaten, trampled by horses, and they used tear gas," he once said.

John Lewis recounted the moments they were met by Alabama State Troopers in a 2015 interview with ABC13 anchor Melanie Lawson.

SEE ALSO: Civil rights icon John Lewis remembered in his hometown

"I thought I saw death. I thought I was going to die on that bridge, but somehow, I am still here and I lived to complete the march from Selma to Montgomery. 54 miles," Lewis said.

Now, 55 years after that day in 1965, the world saw a crossing that was much different.

It was peaceful. Lewis' body was surrounded by family, who were met with grace and gratitude.

SEE ALSO: Rep. John Lewis crosses 'Bloody Sunday' Selma bridge for final time

Two petitions are circulating online in an effort to rename the bridge in honor of Lewis.

"Congressman Lewis was a person who merely died trying to cross that bridge for others, sacrificing himself, so I do believe that, you know, just like we're renaming Robert E. Lee and Confederate monuments and Confederate statues, that bridge [should be] named after a person that was a stalwart against civil rights and African Americans," said Texas House Rep. Ron Reynolds.

Reynolds said he had the pleasure of being mentored by Lewis as a young man.

"Yes, name the Edmund Pettus Bridge in his honor," said U.S. Rep. Al Green. "Pass the Voting Rights Act, [and] increase minimum wage. We cannot live in a country where we have people making billions a year and others making $7.25 an hour. We need to raise the minimum wage."

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