A remarkable member of the Civil Rights Movement will posthumously cross a bridge where he historically thought he might lose his life.
Lewis’ casket will be carried across the bridge that he crossed in March 1965 on “Bloody Sunday” where he led over 600 marchers and was brutalized by Alabama state troopers. Several surviving members of the movement who marched alongside Lewis will cross the bridge today alongside his casket.
Joe Smitherman is one of those people and he expressed the significance of the moment to AL.com.
“We learned from John Lewis. He’s the one who taught us how to march and advocate for our rights, how to be non-violent,” he said.
“I come to give my honor to John Lewis for the work he did when he was here to teach us non-violence and support the Voting Rights Act,,” Smitherman said. “The message I give to honor John Lewis is to go out and vote and speak your piece like he did and don’t turn around.”
After crossing the bridge, the honorable congressman will be brought to the Alabama State Capitol, where he will lie in state.
There are resounding pleas for the Edmund Pettus Bridge to be renamed for Lewis instead of its current namesake, an Alabama senator, and Ku Klux Klan leader.
We pray that happens.
You can watch the moment LIVE below:
Rest in eternal power, John Lewis.