The late Rep. John Lewis’ passionate phrases — his inspirational name for People to get into “good trouble,” his lifelong demand that the nation reside as much as its promise of equality — echoed within the historic Capitol Rotunda one final time Monday.
A recording of these acquainted strains performed because the civil rights chief lay in state and lawmakers from throughout the political divide bid farewell to the person referred to as the “conscience of Congress.”
The encore from Mr. Lewis, which performed throughout a ceremony paying tribute to his lifetime preventing for justice, recounted how his dad and mom and grandparents instructed him to not get into hassle when he questioned segregation and was impressed by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks to take a stand.
“I come here to say to you this morning, on this beautiful campus, with your great education, you must find a way to get in the way. You must find a way to get in trouble — good trouble, necessary trouble,” he intoned within the recording. “Never become bitter. Never become hostile. Never hate. Live in peace. We are one, one people, and one love.”
The Georgia Democrat is the primary Black lawmaker to lie in state within the Capitol Rotunda, the place his casket rested on the identical catafalque — an ornamental wood platform — utilized in each “lie in state” ceremony courting again to President Abraham Lincoln.
“John revered President Lincoln,” Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi mentioned. “His identification with Lincoln was clear 57 years ago, at the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial, where John declared: ‘Our minds, souls, and hearts cannot rest until freedom and justice exist for all the people’ — words that ring true today.”
“We knew that he always worked on the side of the angels. And now we know that he is with them,” she added. “God truly blessed America with the life and leadership of John Lewis.”
To “lie in state” is among the highest honors for American heroes, sometimes reserved for statesmen and army leaders.
Whereas the primary to lie within the Rotunda, Mr. Lewis is the second Black American lawmaker to be given the “lie in state” honor and the fourth to be honored on the Capitol.
The primary Black lawmaker was Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, who laid in Nationwide Statuary Corridor. Mr. Cummings died final October from long-term well being points. Parks, a civil rights pioneer, was lain in honor — a separate title — within the Capitol Rotunda in 2005.
The invitation-only ceremony for Mr. Lewis was smaller than these prior to now due to the coronavirus pandemic. A number of lawmakers in attendance honored him by donning “Good Trouble” masks.
Mr. Lewis died July 17 on the age of 80 of pancreatic most cancers. He had served in Congress for greater than 30 years representing Georgia’s fifth Congressional District, which incorporates Atlanta.
A son of sharecroppers, Mr. Lewis later turned an icon of the historic Civil Rights motion, alongside King.
He was one of many authentic Freedom Riders in 1961, jailed for a number of nonviolent protests, and was assaulted on the notorious “Bloody Sunday” conflict between protesters and regulation enforcement on Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, Alabama, in 1965.
He crossed that bridge one final time Sunday, as a part of the six days of memorial companies to honor the civil rights legend.
Earlier than arriving on the Capitol, Mr. Lewis‘ casket was pushed previous the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Nationwide Museum of African American Historical past and Tradition and the newly established Black Lives Matter Plaza.
In 1963, Mr. Lewis was the youngest speaker on the March on Washington.
Each Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, and Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, recounted attending the March and being moved by Mr. Lewis‘ phrases and big crowds.
“The site gave me hope for our country. That was John’s doing,” Mr. McConnell mentioned. “History only bent toward what’s right because people like John paid the price to help bend it … But even though the world around him gave him every cause for bitterness he stubbornly treated everyone with respect and love.”
His ultimate public look was on the Black Lives Matter Plaza final month.
Mr. Lewis was moved within the night to the highest of the Capitol’s East Entrance steps the place the general public can view his casket from the East Plaza. Masks and social distancing are strictly enforced because the viewing continues Tuesday.
Home lawmakers additionally honored Mr. Lewis on Monday by renaming the Democrats’ marquee voting rights invoice after the civil rights chief. Democrats have known as on Republicans to assist cross the invoice and President Trump to signal it in reminiscence of Mr. Lewis.
Mr. Lewis will lie in state on the Georgia State Capitol on Wednesday.
He can be laid to relaxation on Thursday in Atlanta following a non-public funeral service on the metropolis’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, which King as soon as led.
President Trump, who was leaving the White Home for an occasion in North Carolina within the afternoon, instructed reporters he wouldn’t go to the Capitol to view the casket.
“I won’t be going, no,” the president mentioned.
• Dave Boyer contributed to this report.