Congressman John Lewis received at Alabama Capitol where he will lie in state

Updated: Jul. 26, 2020 at 3:18 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The hearse carrying Congressman John Lewis has arrived in Montgomery.

After crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma for the last time, a procession took Lewis along a route similar to one taken by marchers in 1965 who traveled from Selma to the capital city in support of voting rights for African Americans.

The procession arrived on Dexter Avenue Sunday afternoon, where crowds gathered to honor Lewis. Lewis was brought into the Capitol by a military honor guard; he will lie in state inside the Capitol until 7 p.m. State archives officials say Lewis will be one of the only people to lie in state at the Alabama Capitol who did not serve as governor.

Lewis was received by a private wreath laying ceremony, attended by Gov. Kay Ivey, Alabama’s Congressional Delegation and members of the Lewis family.

People gathered said they were honored to witness this historic moment and pay their respects.

“I just wanna be here to honor John Lewis,” said Thomas Patterson. “I think he was a great leader, courageous man, and I feel that the least I can do is respect him by attending this memorial as well as encouraging as many people to vote as I can.”

“I’m just happy to be out here,” said Shijanua Mcmillian. “We’re all happy to be out here to just have this experience, to be out here to witness history. This is our congressman, you know? John Lewis has done so much for us. For our community. For the world, not just for our community, but for the world and we’re just out here just to be a part of it.”

The Capitol will be open for members of the public to pay their respects to Lewis from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Attendees must wear face coverings, which cover the nostrils and mouth, and bags, purses and other personal items will not be permitted into the Capitol.

At 7 p.m., Lewis will be honored at a vigil in Bicentennial Park across from the Capitol. Dr. Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., will speak, along with other civil rights leaders.

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