What They Are Saying About The Death Of John Lewis: ‘He saw the best in all of us’: Obama, Trump, Bush, lawmakers react to Rep. John Lewis’ death

Posted by Andy Durham on July 19, 2020 at 4:39 pm under Professional | Comments are off for this article

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WASHINGTON – Lawmakers, world leaders, organizations and celebrities are reacting to news that Rep. John Lewis, D-GA, the civil rights icon whose fight for racial justice began in the Jim Crow South and ended in the halls of Congress, has died.

Lewis, an organizer of the March on Washington in 1963 along with Martin Luther King Jr., had been battling Stage IV pancreatic cancer since December. The congressman was 80.

His family said in a statement Friday night that Lewis, who represented Atlanta, “was honored and respected as the conscience of the U.S. Congress and an icon of American history but we knew him as a loving father and brother. He was a stalwart champion in the on-going struggle to demand respect for the dignity and worth of every human being.”

On Saturday morning, the White House flew its flag at half-staff in honor of Lewis’ death. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also ordered flags at the Capitol be lowered.

Here is a look at how he is being remembered:

President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump posted a short tweet Saturday saying that he and first lady Melania Trump were “saddened” at the news of Lewis’ death.

“Melania and I send our prayers to he and his family,” Trump wrote.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany called Lewis “an icon of the civil rights movement” and said he “leaves an enduring legacy that will never be forgotten.”

Former President Barack Obama
“In so many ways, John’s life was exceptional. But he never believed that what he did was more than any citizen of this country might do,” Obama wrote in lengthy tribute to Lewis. On his Inauguration Day in 2009, Obama signed a message to him “Because of you, John.”

The statement continued, “He believed that in all of us, there exists the capacity for great courage, a longing to do what’s right, a willingness to love all people, and to extend to them their God-given rights to dignity and respect. And it’s because he saw the best in all of us that he will continue, even in his passing, to serve as a beacon in that long journey towards a more perfect union.

“Not many of us get to live to see our own legacy play out in such a meaningful, remarkable way. John Lewis did. And thanks to him, we now all have our marching orders – to keep believing in the possibility of remaking this country we love until it lives up to its full promise,” the statement concluded.

Former President George W. Bush
“Laura and I join our fellow Americans in mourning the loss of Congressman John Lewis,” Bush wrote. “As a young man marching for equality in Selma, Alabama, John answered brutal violence with courageous hope. And throughout his career as a civil rights leader and public servant, he worked to make our country a more perfect union. America can best honor John’s memory by continuing his journey toward liberty and justice for all.”

Vice President Mike Pence
Vice President Mike Pence called Lewis a “colleague and a friend,” remembering walking across the Edmund Pettus Bridge next to Lewis on the 45th anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

“Congressman John Lewis was a great man whose courage and decades of public service changed America forever, and he will be deeply missed,” he wrote. “John Lewis will be remembered as a giant of the civil rights movement whose selflessness and conviction rendered our nation into a more perfect union and his example will inspire generations of Americans.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
“Today, America mourns the loss of one of the greatest heroes of American history.

“John Lewis was a titan of the civil rights movement whose goodness, faith and bravery transformed our nation,” the statement continued. “Every day of John Lewis’s life was dedicated to bringing freedom and justice to all. As he declared 57 years ago during the March on Washington, standing in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial: ‘Our minds, souls, and hearts cannot rest until freedom and justice exist for all the people.’

“How fitting it is that even in the last weeks of his battle with cancer, John summoned the strength to visit the peaceful protests where the newest generation of Americans had poured into the streets to take up the unfinished work of racial justice.”

The Congressional Black Caucus
“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.

“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,” the statement continued.


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