A giant of the civil rights movement, John Lewis, died from pancreatic cancer on 17th, July. He is the symbol of civil rights as a previous follower of Martin Luther King, Jr. Lewis contributes his whole life to eliminating racial discrimination and never gives up even suffering from being beaten and arrested by the police.
Mr. Obama said that very few of us could see a significant development of legacy for our own lives. But Lewis does it. He loves his country so much that he gives all his life ever. Trump expressed his sadness for Lewis’ death, which shows he ignores that Lewis’s rejection for his entering and hosting the White House at the beginning of 2017. Later, he ordered all the public buildings to lower their flags to half-staff. The White House spokesman Kelly McNerney pays tribute to this “idol” who has left an indelible legacy.
John Lewis is considered to be one of American most respected voices for justice and equality. Although suffering from a serious illness, he still returned to Washington during the storm caused by the death of George Floyd, to join the anti-racism mobilization of Black Lives Matter. He said that strong winds were blowing and a major reform was on the way.
According to the report, John Lewis was born in a tenant farmer family and became one of the youngest free knight at the age of 21. They fought against apartheid in the American transportation system in the early 1960s. He was the youngest leader of the 1963 Washington parade where Martin Luther King made his famous speech ”I Have a Dream”.
Two years later, in March 1965, on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, Lewis was nearly beaten to death by the police, and his skull was broken. This is the “Bleeding Sunday” incident in the black civil rights movement in the United States. He was leading a peaceful march against racial discrimination by hundreds of people.
Martin Luther King’s son said that John Lewis was a real superman as a shining example to us all.
In 2011, Obama had awarded Lewis the Presidential Medal of Freedom that is the highest level of civilian medal. In 2015, to mark the 50th anniversary of Bleeding Sunday, Lewis and Obama, the first black president in American history, re-walked the Edmund Pettus Bridge together. Many people called for the bridge to be renamed after John Lewis. The original name of the bridge is to commemorate the Confederate general and local Ku Klux Klan leader Edmund Patters.
John Lewis had a conversation with Jow Biden, the vice president under Obama. He hoped the whole government of this country could focus on the work to be done to heal this nation.
John Lewis was born on February 21, 1940, in Troy, Alabama. He is the third child among the 10 children in his family, growing up in a community that was almost entirely black, and precociously had a sense of the reality of segregation in this state in the southern United States. Then he started to organize a sit-down protest in restaurants where apartheid was enforced. He never gives up although arrested more than 20 times in non-violent demonstrations. Later, he founded and led the “Student Non-violent Coordination Committee.” He was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1986. The speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi said that he represented the “conscience of Congress.”
The Republican field even mourned for John Lewis. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell praised “this civil rights pioneer who has not hesitated to fight against racism, promotes equal rights, and makes our country conform to its founding criteria.” French President Macron also paid tribute to the “hero”. Macron said that “so much progress has been made thanks to Lewis”.