Moving Photos Show US Civil Rights Icon John Lewis Carried Over Selma Bridge For Last Time
Former Georgia representative John Lewis was carried across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, for the final time on Sunday, July 26, as part of an incredibly moving memorial.
A coffin carrying his body was pulled by horse and carriage as rose petals were strewn across the bridge, where Lewis was beaten by state troopers while leading a historic march for voting rights 55 years ago.
Beautiful images captured the poignant moment the civil rights legend was transported across the bridge as part of a six day memorial tribute.
Lewis died of pancreatic cancer on July 17, at the age of 80.
His legacy will live on after he made history on March 7, 1965, when he was just 25 years old, by helping to lead around 600 civil rights protesters across the Edmund Pettus Bridge for a historic demonstration, which saw the activists travel from Selma to Montgomery in the fight for full voting rights for Black Americans.
Lewis was among hundreds of the protesters to be beaten by state troopers, who used clubs and tear gas to violently break up the demonstration. He was left with a fractured skull and several other injuries on the day that is now remembered as ‘Bloody Sunday’.
Undeterred by the unjustified acts of violence towards him, Lewis went on to host annual marches across the bridge, supported by current and former presidents from both sides of the political spectrum. Then, on the 50th anniversary, he was accompanied by Barack Obama, the United States’ first Black president.
People are now calling on the bridge – which is currently named after a Confederate general and Klu Klux Klan member – to be renamed after Lewis.
The six day memorial in honour of Lewis has been hailed ‘The Final Crossing,’ as the civil rights icon is taken over the bridge for the final time.
Bernice King, daughter of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, wrote on Twitter: ‘Crossing one more time today. Thank you, Uncle John.’
Lewis’ death came amid the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests, which continue to fight for racial equality all these years later.
While the battle to end racial injustice is far from over, John Lewis will always be remembered and someone who put themselves at the forefront of a turning point in history.
Rest in peace, John Lewis.
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