John Lewis, Lying in State, Is Honored as Part of a ‘Pantheon of Patriots’

WASHINGTON — When the honor defend positioned Representative John Lewis’s coffin in the Capitol Rotunda on Monday, the civil rights icon’s physique lay upon the equal catafalque that President Abraham Lincoln’s did.

It used to be a becoming tribune: The raised container that as soon as supported the president most accountable for ending slavery now carried the first Black lawmaker to lie in kingdom in the Rotunda, a man who dedicated his lifestyles to making sure that with freedom got here equality.

“Under the dome of the U.S. Capitol, we have bid farewell to some of the biggest Americans in our history,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated all through an emotional ceremony Monday afternoon to honor Mr. Lewis, a Georgia Democrat who persevered severa arrests and beatings in his lifelong push for civil rights. “It is becoming that John Lewis joins this pantheon of patriots.”

Speakers recalled Mr. Lewis’s super upward jostle in American life, from a farmhouse in Pike County, Ala., with no walking water or electrical energy to his main position in the effort to give up segregation and his ascent to the halls of Congress.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, invoked the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a pal of Mr. Lewis’s, who as soon as stated that “the arc of the ethical universe is long, however it bends towards justice.”

“But that is by no means automatic,” Mr. McConnell said. “History solely bent towards what’s proper due to the fact humans like John paid the rate to assist bend it.”

Typically, when a lawmaker with the stature of Mr. Lewis is honored in the Capitol, the constructing hosts lots of visitors. But the coronavirus pandemic restricted the crowd interior the Rotunda to simply dozens.

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