SELMA, Ala. (AP) — The late U.S. Rep. John Lewis will cross Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge for the final time Sunday as remembrances continue for the civil rights icon.
Lewis’ casket will be carried in a processional across the Selma bridge where he and other civil rights marchers were beaten 55 years ago on “Bloody Sunday,” a key event in the fight for voting rights for African Americans. Lewis will lie in repose at the Alabama Capitol on Sunday afternoon.
A series of events began Saturday in Lewis’ hometown of Troy, Alabama, to pay tribute the late congressman and his legacy. He will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol next week before his private funeral Thursday at Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, which the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once led.
A native of Pike County, Alabama, Lewis became involved in the civil rights movement as a young man.
In 1965, he and other marchers were beaten in Selma. The news coverage of the event help galvanize support for the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Lewis’ family has asked members of the public not to travel from across the country to pay their respects. Instead, they suggested people pay virtual tribute online using the hashtags #BelovedCommunity or #HumanDignity.
Lewis, 80, died July 17 several months after he was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer.