“Congressman John Lewis was my uncle and my hero. And it’s up to us to keep his legacy alive,” said Jaxson Lewis Brewster during John Lewis’s memorial service at Troy University in Alabama on Saturday.
The former congressman and civil rights icon died on July 17 at the age of 80 after his yearlong struggle with pancreatic cancer.
As a college student, he helped lead the fight against racial inequality by participating in multiple protests. At 23, he helped organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he was the youngest speaker right alongside Martin Luther King Junior.
Popularly known as the “Conscience of Congress,” he continued his fight as a US representative from Georgia.
On Sunday, he will be carried across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where he had organized the historic 1965 civil rights march that came to be known as “Bloody Sunday.” Lewis had his skull fractured that historic day by the police, which prompted Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act later that year.
On Monday, Lewis will be laid down in the Rotunda of the US Capitol for viewing. The memorial service has been extended to only invited members due to the pandemic.