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Civil Rights Legend Rep. John Lewis Passes Away At 80
“He not only embraced that responsibility, but he made it his life’s work,” the former president said.
“John Lewis will be a founding father of that fuller, fairer, better America.”
Obama also referenced the 2020 U.S. presidential election and current anti-racism protests across the country, saying “there are those in power who are doing their darnedest to discourage people from voting,” and “undermining the postal service in the run-up to an election.”
“John Lewis devoted his time on this earth fighting the very attacks on democracy.” He continued.
Obama added that Lewis knew “that the fate of this democracy depends on how we use it, that democracy isn’t automatic- it has to be nurtured.”
The funeral for Lewis was held at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on Thursday, capping off a six-day celebration of life honouring the congressman.
Lewis died on July 17 at the age of 80.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++‘I Stood on His Shoulders’: Barack Obama Remembers and Tributes John Lewis
Obama recollected that his election as the first Black president was possible because of the sacrifices of John Lewis.
“I first met John when I was in law school, and I told him then that he was one of my heroes. Years later, when I was elected a U.S. Senator, I told him that I stood on his shoulders,” Obama wrote in a statement following Lewis’ death. “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.”
Obama said Lewis “never stopped providing wisdom and encouragement to me” and former first lady Michelle, and their family. “We will miss him dearly,” he said.
As we reported Lewis, a Democrat who served as the US representative for Georgia’s 5th Congressional District for more than three decades, died Friday at the age of 80 after a six-month battle with cancer.