The East Plaza will be open from 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. on July 27 and 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. on July 28 for the public to pay their respects
Eulogized as "beloved," a "titan of the Civil Rights Movement," and the "conscience of Congress," Representative John Lewis was honored at the U.S. Capitol on Monday, July 27, 2020.
Rep. Lewis died on Friday, July 17, 2020. He was 80 years old.
He represented Georgia's 5th District for 33 years and served in various leadership roles over his career, including serving as Senior Chief Deputy Whip of the Democratic party in 2003. At the time of his death, he served as the Chair of the Committee on Ways and Means' Subcommittee on Oversight and as a member of the Joint Committee on Taxation.
"God truly blessed America with the life and leadership of John Lewis," remarked Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (CA-12). "John committed his life to advancing justice … John firmly focused on the future. On how to inspire the next generation to join the fight for justice."
Rep. Lewis was known for his activism during the Civil Rights Movement, including leading the iconic marches from Montgomery to Selma, Alabama, over the Edmund Pettus Bridge. During one of these marches in 1963, later known as “Bloody Sunday,” Lewis and other civil rights demonstrators were attacked by Alabama state troopers. He became known for saying his time in the Civil Rights Movement was about "getting into good trouble, necessary trouble."
During the remembrance ceremony, a recording of Rep. Lewis’ 2014 Emory University School of Law commencement address was played in the Capitol Rotunda. "You must find a way to get in the way, to get in trouble," the Congressman implored the students as he remembered his time in the Civil Rights Movement. "You must find a way to get in the way, you must find a way to get into trouble. Good trouble, necessary trouble … that is your calling. That is your mission. That is your moral obligation. That is your mandate. Get out there and do it. Get in the way."
In 2011, Rep. Lewis was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then President Barack Obama. "John Lewis has dedicated his life to shattering barriers and fighting injustice," former President Obama said during the ceremony. "John Lewis has earned our lasting gratitude for a lifetime dedicated to the pursuit of equality and justice for all."
The East Plaza will be open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday, July 27, and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday, July 28, for the public to pay their respects. The casket will be placed at the top of the East Front Steps, and the public will file past on the East Plaza. Masks will be required, and the line will begin at First and East Capitol Streets Northeast.