John Lewis: US presidents be a part of tributes to civil rights icon

John Lewis: US presidents join tributes to civil rights icon

John Lewis (file photo)Image copyright

US presidents and international leaders have joined the tributes to civil rights icon John Lewis, who has died of pancreatic most cancers at the age of 80.

Lewis was a person of the “Big Six” civil rights leaders, which incorporated Martin Luther King Jr, and aided organise the historic 1963 March on Washington.

Barack Obama is among all those who have praised Lewis’s legacy.

President Donald Trump later reported in a tweet that he was “saddened” to listen to of the previous congressman’s loss of life.

A petition to rename a bridge in Alabama that played a pivotal part in Lewis’s daily life has drawn extra than 400,000 signatures.

‘Conscience of the nation’

Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, explained Lewis as “definitely 1-of-a-kind, a ethical compass”.

Mr Biden explained he experienced spoken to Lewis in the times ahead of his demise.

“His voice still commanded respect and his snicker was continue to total of joy. Rather of answering our concerns for him, he asked about us. He questioned us to keep concentrated on the do the job remaining undone to mend this country.”

  • Civil rights icon and congressman John Lewis dies
  • ‘A man who fought for equality right up until his previous breath’

Each of the 4 residing previous US presidents compensated tribute to Lewis.

“Not a lot of of us get to dwell to see our have legacy enjoy out in these kinds of a meaningful, amazing way. John Lewis did,” Barack Obama mentioned. “And many thanks to him, we now all have our marching orders – to hold believing in the likelihood of remaking this nation we love until finally it life up to its total guarantee.”

His predecessor George W Bush stated Lewis had “labored to make our place a much more fantastic union”, when Invoice Clinton explained him as “the conscience of the nation”.

Jimmy Carter, in the meantime, pointed out that the previous congressman had “made an indelible mark on background by way of his quest to make our country extra just”.

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The flag flies at half mast more than the White Residence

The reaction from recent President Donald Trump, having said that, was significantly extra muted and came several hours after messages were issued by other US politicians.

“Saddened to hear the news of civil rights hero John Lewis passing. Melania and I send our prayers to he and his family members,” stated Trump, whom Lewis experienced publicly criticised.

Flags were being flown at 50 %-mast on Saturday morning and Vice-President Mike Pence called Lewis “a excellent person whose courage and many years of public assistance adjusted The us for good”.

Civil rights activists spoke of their sorrow at Lewis’s demise.

“John Lewis is what patriotism and braveness appear like,” civil legal rights activist Rev Jesse Jackson, who initially met Lewis in the course of protests in 1960, reported.

Martin Luther King III, the eldest son of the civil legal rights activist, advised CNN: “From a historic standpoint, there are couple who are able to grow to be giants… John Lewis really became a big by way of his illustrations that he set for all of us.”

A selection of foreign leaders, which include French President Emmanuel Macron, have also paid out tribute.

The Edmund Pettus Bridge

The bridge crosses the Alabama river in the state’s city of Selma.

In 1965, John Lewis led hundreds of protesters around the bridge on a peace march to Montgomery.

State troopers attacked them and Lewis was left with a damaged skull on what grew to become known as Bloody Sunday.

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Barack Obama and John Lewis walked throughout the bridge 50 many years just after the landmark march

He walked across the bridge with then President Obama 50 a long time afterwards.

The bridge was named just after a Confederate typical and later Ku Klux Klan chief in Alabama.

The petition on cites the recent movement to eliminate statues and monuments to the Accomplice past in the wake of the loss of life in law enforcement custody of African American George Floyd.

“As we wipe absent this country’s extended stain of bigotry, we should also wipe absent the names of adult males like Edmund Pettus,” the petition argues.