Georgia State Representative Calvin Smyre of Columbus says he is deeply saddened by the passing of Congressman John Lewis.
Lewis, a Democrat from Atlanta was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1986. As a civil rights pioneer, Lewis was the last survivor of the Big Six civil rights activists, led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. He was best known for leading 600 protesters in the 1965 Bloody Sunday march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. Lewis was knocked to the ground and beaten by state troopers.
Rep. Smyre released a statement Saturday calling Lewis ” one of the true architects of the civil rights movement.”
“Those of us elected in the 1970’s stand on the shoulders of Congressman John Lewis and many others because of their courageous fight for the 1965 Voting Rights Act. He was brutally beaten and faced violence with such grace and dignity with the words, “We must keep the faith”. The best way to honor John Lewis and memorialize his life is to continue the never ending journey of democracy and justice for all people. He was an American Hero and America’s moral compass and the U.S. Congress should pass the 2020 HEROES Act in his remembrance. The justice and equality journey continues. John Lewis was one of a kind, a giant Georgia Pine Tree has fallen in America’s forest. His leadership and courage will be sorely missed. My deepest condolences to his family and extended family friends,” said Georgia State Representative Calvin Smyre of Columbus, Georgia.
Lewis was 80 years old. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2019.