Civil Rights Icon Rep. John Lewis Lies in State at Capitol 

The body of the late U.S. congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis is lying in state again Tuesday at the Capitol in Washington for mourners to pay their last respects. Lewis died last week at the age of 80 after a yearlong battle with advanced-stage pancreatic cancer.     His flag draped casket was escorted Monday to the Capitol where he served the people of his Georgia district for 33 years.The hearse with the flag-draped casket of Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., drives on 16th Street, renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza, near the White House, July 27, 2020.Before arriving on Capitol Hill, the motorcade carrying his body took a final journey past several civil rights landmarks in Washington as well as a new mural on a street near the White House reading “Black Lives Matter.”     House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California speaks during a service for the late Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., as he lies in state at the Capitol in Washington, July 27, 2020.In remarks Monday in the Capitol Rotunda, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Lewis the conscience of the Congress.     “It is fitting that John Lewis joins this pantheon of patriots, resting upon the same catafalque as President Abraham Lincoln,” she said. A catafalque is an ornamental wooden framework that supports a coffin lying in state.   Pelosi had led a delegation Monday to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland to greet Lewis’s casket.     Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., speaks during a memorial service for Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., at the U.S. Capitol, July 27, 2020, in Washington.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also praised Lewis, saying “Lewis lived and worked with urgency because the task was urgent.”     Absent from the ceremonies was President Donald Trump, who has publicly traded words with Lewis on Twitter. After Lewis said the president was not legitimate, Trump called Lewis’ congressional district “crime-infested.”Vice President Mike Pence paid his respects later Monday along with Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden.     Due to concerns over the coronavirus, the public viewing is taking place just outside the Capitol on the building’s east side. Visitors are required to wear masks and engage in social distancing.      Lewis is the second Black lawmaker to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol. Congressman Elijah Cummings, who died last year, was the first.  The flag-draped casket of the late Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., a key figure in the civil rights movement and a 17-term congressman, lies in state, July 27, 2020, at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.Lewis’ body will be flown to Atlanta to lie in state Wednesday in the Georgia Capitol. A funeral will be held at Ebenezer Baptist Church, the historically black church where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preached. He will be laid to rest in Atlanta’s South View Cemetery.     Lewis rose to fame as a leader of the modern-day American civil rights movement of the 1960s. At 23, he worked closely with King and was the last surviving speaker from the August 1963 March on Washington where King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.     FILE – Martin Luther King Jr., second from right, speaks at a news conference next to John Lewis, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, in Baltimore, Maryland, April 2, 1965.The civil rights movement led Lewis into a career in politics. He was elected to the Atlanta City Council in 1981 and to Congress in 1986, calling the latter victory “the honor of a lifetime.” He served 17 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia’s fifth district.


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