MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — People from all over Alabama are remembering civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis who had deep ties to the state.
Lewis was born in Troy. In his honor, Gov. Kay Ivey has ordered all flags to be flown at half staff.
Lewis had no idea that March 1, 2020, would be the final time he would cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge. He would come back every year for the Selma Jubilee bridge crossing enactment.
Now that the civil rights icon has died, there’s a growing call to have that very bridge named in his honor. One of the people leading the charge is Micheal Hopkins who created the petition.
“When you dedicate your life to dividing this country, you don’t get to be honored,” Hopkins said.
The bridge is named after Edmund Winston Pettus, a Confederate Brigadier General, head of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan, and U.S. Senator.
Hopkins who is not from Alabama, said that when one community hurts, they all hurt.
“All I want is to give people just some hope that we can get through these tough times and that we can be better,” Hopkins said.
CBS 42 political analyst Steve Flowers knew the Lewis family very well as their longtime state representative for Pike County.
“He grew up in an era when it really was hard on young black people to get an education. It was a segregated school system,” Flowers said.
Lewis would later go on to push the nation to live up to its true promise.
“They say the Selma to Montgomery march where he was illuminated from being beaten so brutally was the reason the civil rights act passed.”
The petition is seeking 500,000 online signatures. As of Monday, it’s less than 10,000 signatures away from its goal.
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