John Lewis Carried Across Selma Bridge One Last Time

By Bill Galluccio

July 26, 2020

The body of civil rights icon Georgia Rep. John Lewis crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, on Sunday (July 26) for the final time. His casket, draped in an American flag, was loaded onto a horse-drawn caisson, which carried him across the same bridge he made history marching across on what became known as Bloody Sunday in 1965.

Once the caisson crossed the bridge, members of Lewis' family placed red roses to mark the spot where he was beaten by Alabama State Troopers. Lewis suffered a fractured skull and was one of many protesters hospitalized after peacefully marching over the bridge.

"His final march, that final crossing, so different than the first, speaks to the legacy that he leaves behind and the lives that he changed," Alabama Rep. Terri Sewell said. "It's poetic justice that this time, Alabama state troopers will see John to his safety."

His body was transferred to a hearse and transported to the Alabama Capitol, where it will lie in repose.

Lewis died at the age of 80 on July 17 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1987 and served until his death.

He will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol next week until a private funeral on Thursday at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.

Photo: Getty Images

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