By Sherlene Shanklin
Late Friday evening, word spread quickly about the passing of Civil Rights icon and Congressman John Lewis.
The “conscious” of the U.S. Congress died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 80.
The Freedom Rider attended Fisk University and when he was not in class he was leading demonstrations and sit-ins.
Within the last two hours the following statements were released.
Former President Barack Obama says “When I was elected President of the United States, I hugged him on the inauguration stand before I was sworn in and told him I was only there because of the sacrifices he made. And through all those years, he never stopped providing wisdom and encouragement to me and Michelle and our family. We will miss him dearly.”
The Congressional Black Caucus says “The world has lost a legend; the civil rights movement has lost an icon, the City of Atlanta has lost one of its most fearless leaders, and the Congressional Black Caucus has lost our longest serving member. The Congressional Black Caucus is known as the Conscience of the Congress. John Lewis was known as the conscience of our caucus. A fighter for justice until the end, Mr. Lewis recently visited Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington DC. His mere presence encouraged a new generation of activist to “speak up and speak out” and get into “good trouble” to continue bending the arc toward justice and freedom.”
Bill and Hillary Clinton say “We have lost a giant.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi says “Today, America mourns the loss of one of the greatest heroes of American history: Congressman John Lewis, the Conscience of the Congress.
The Lewis family tried to hold the news of his passing because Dr. Martin Luther King’s lieutenant C.T. Vivian also of Atlanta, Georgia passed away earlier in the day. Out of respect for the Vivian family they were trying to wait.
To learn more on Rep. John Lewis’ life and countless accomplishments go to https://johnlewis.house.gov/.