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U.S. leaders honor Lewis

by Kyle Ziemnick
Posted 7/30/20, 05:25 pm

The funeral for Rep. John Lewis at Martin Luther King Jr’s former church included eulogies from three former presidents: Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. The service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta followed a week of events honoring the civil rights leader who died on July 17. Obama called Lewis a “founding father” of a “better America” and urged Americans to continue Lewis’ fight for voting rights and equal treatment, adding, “He, as much as anyone in our history, brought this country a little bit closer to our highest ideals.”

What did others say? Bush lauded Lewis’ dedication to his Christian faith and his ideals. He praised the late congressman’s insistence that “hate and fear had to be answered with love and hope.” King’s daughter, the Rev. Bernice King, led the assembly in prayer, saying, “We will continue to get into good trouble as long as You grant us the breath to do so.” Lewis used the phrase “good trouble” to describe the civil disobedience he and others used to promote racial equality.

Dig deeper: Read a column Lewis wrote and requested The New York Times to publish on the day of his funeral.

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Kyle Ziemnick

Kyle is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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  • PAMom
    Posted: Fri, 07/31/2020 05:41 pm

    Is it just me, or is a funeral an unusual place to be talking about voting?

    Posted: Fri, 07/31/2020 10:25 pm

    It isn't just you. Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., has commented on the left's opportunism and the distortions in Barack Obama's "eulogy": 

  • OldMike
    Posted: Wed, 08/05/2020 11:53 am

    I don't really think there is anything inappropriate in advocating for something at the funeral of someone who spent his life advocating for it: in Rep. Lewis case, for an end to injustice and oppression based on the color of someone's skin. In the course of his lifelong fight, Rep. Lewis made the point that the use of the vote to bring about change is a powerful tool.  It is to the benefit of all Americans to stress the vote over violence, especially considering that the violence of racial hatred is what we want to see overcome. 

    Having said that, I have to also say, there are people who are not going to respond to anything less than a good slap up the side of the head!