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 is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.