Civil rights hero John Lewis to be remembered at site of Bloody Sunday

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Press Association
John Lewis will cross Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge for the final time on Sunday as remembrances continue for the civil rights hero.

His coffin will be carried in a procession 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.

He will then lie in state at the Alabama Capitol on Sunday afternoon.

A hearse carrying John Lewis’s coffin drives over the Edmund Pettus Bridge en route to the Brown Chapel in Selma, Alabama (Brynn Anderson/AP)

A series of events began on Saturday in Mr Lewis’s hometown of Troy, Alabama, to pay tribute to the late congressman and his legacy.

He will lie in state at the US Capitol next week before his private funeral at Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, which the Rev Martin Luther King Jr once led, on Thursday.

A native of Pike County, Alabama, Mr 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 helped galvanise support for the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Mourners at a service celebrating John Lewis, ‘The Boy from Troy’, at Troy University in Alabama on Saturday (Brynn Anderson/AP)
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Mr Lewis’s 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.

Mr Lewis died on July 17 at the age of 80, several months after he was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer.

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