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WASH 8 LEWIS FUNERAL ATLANTA GA CLEAN SWITCHED P5 WASH 8/ POOL 6 - Switched feed >> He was a member of ebenezer for years before he became ill. He would go back to Atlanta every weekend, and every Sunday morning, he would go to the early morning service. The 8:00 A.M. Ser because he rose at 5:00 in themorning, and this church meant so much to him. It's where he and his wife Lillian were married. Er funeral service was held there. Ese images I can recall of John Lewis and his wife, [10:57:03 AM] Lillian's funeral. You see this man brokenhearted. His partner for 41 years was gone, and say for people of faith -- I know people in that church are mindful that John lewiss with her again, his partner, this woman who they worshipped god together in that place. And ebenezer is a special place. It was the epicenter of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, and America will be exposed to something. It will see the grandness of a black church, that historically in a black church, that's where we discuss politics. That's where people find comfort. That's where the medicine of music exists. Today we'll hear from grammy singers, grammy award winners. We'll hear from three presidents, so yes, politics, yes, the comfort of music and also the strategy that came out of a black church. Where do we go forward? Where do we go Monday? [10:58:04 AM] We'll hear about that today. Where do we go as a nation taking John Lewis' mission forward? >> We saw the congressman coming into the chapel today. You see kamala Harris, and Cory booker, African-American senators. They are part of John Lewis' legacy as well. >> So many who he inspired and that's what struck me when I was reading his words today in the op-ed. He talked about how he lived to be inspired by this next generation where he says, you filled me with hope about the next chapter of the great American story when you used your power to make a difference in our society. So we really see this full circle. He inspired. He lived to be inspired. He through his commitment and hard work to making sure that millions of Americans would have access to what he called first class citizenship, he ultimately got to see his parents cast their first vote. He got to see the first black president who is now going to be delivering his eulogy today, and he got to get a library card [10:59:07 AM] from the library in Alabama that initially denied him, and that's how this all is so full circle because that's where it all started. He talked about in 1956 he was just 15 years old going to the local library, and he was poor and didn't have books at home. He was going with his brothers, sisters and cousins to get books because he liked to read and the librarian said, look. The library is just for whites only. Fast forward to 1998, he ended up writing a book. That library called him to have a book signing there. That book signing of course, was attended by blacks and whites alike. After it was over, they granted him that library card 42 years later, George. >> A long time coming right there. The service is about to begin. There you see at ebenezer Baptist, and as we come up on 11:00 eastern on the east coast, we should note that the family has said that right at 11:00, churches around the country, 500 churches around the country expected to ring bells for 80 [11:00:07 AM] seconds to celebrate John Lewis. Let's listen. [ Bell tolls ] Ebenezer Baptist church. [ Bell tolls ] [ Bell tolls ] [11:01:23 AM] [ Bell tolls ] >>> 80 bells, 80 seconds, 80 years for John Lewis. [ Bell tolls ] [11:03:01 AM] [ Bell tolls ] [ Bell tolls ] [ Bell tolls ] [11:04:19 AM] [ Bell tolls ] [ Bell tolls ] . >> President George W. Bush entering the sanctuary along with Laura bush. Everyone this morning in masks. [11:05:23 AM] The speaker of the house, Nancy Pelosi. She will speak as well, a colleague of John Lewis for more than 30 years in the house. I believe that's the mayor of Atlanta, Keisha lance-bottoms, and now the pastor of ebenezer Baptist will lead the service. >> Shall we stand? I am the resurrection and the lake, said the lord. [11:06:32 AM] Yet shall we live again. >> Pastor saying the prayer. Former president Bill Clinton. >> Shall never die. And that he shall stand with me at the light of day. Infy skin, worms destroy this body, yet shall I see god. I shall see for myself and mine eyes shall behold, and another. Behold, eyes show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed in a moment, in [11:07:37 AM] the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the death must be raised and crumble. We shall all be changed. Immortality. This corruptible, corruption at whim, this corruptible shall put on corruption. When put on immortality, then will be brought to pass. Death is in dignity. Where is your dignity? [11:08:38 AM] Thanks be onto god who gives us the Victor. Thanks be on to god who gave John Robert Lewis the victory through Jesus Christ, our lord and liberator. Let all the children of god say amen. >> All: Amen. >> You're in a Baptist church. Say it loudly. Amen. >> All: Amen. >> You may be seated. God bless you, my sisters and brothers. You who sit in the sanctuary and those who join us on our church livestream or by television, god [11:09:41 AM] bless you and welcome to ebenezer Baptist church. Spiritual home of martin Luther king Jr., spiritual home of John Robert Lewis, America's freedom church. In these difficult days that even made grieving more challenging. At a time when we would find comfort in embracing one another. When we must socially distance from one another, but make no mistake. We are together. In principle, even if not in proximity. We may not all be in the same room, but we are all on the same page, and we are in touch with [11:10:43 AM] the same spirit. We love John Robert Lewis. [ Applause ] Come on. Give god preach. Come on. [ Applause ] [ Applause ] Let me just offer this. [11:11:43 AM] We praise god for John Lewis, but as we gather in this house, god be reminding that as a teenager, he actually used to preach to the chickens. I guess you have to start somewhere. At age 16, he preached what we call his trial sermon in a little country church, but as his life he preached sermons, he became one. He became a living, walking sermon about truth-telling and justice-making and he loved America until America learned how to love him back. [ Applause ] At a time when there is so much [11:12:44 AM] going on in our world, the new cycle is packed at a dizzying pace. In the last several days, it is as if time stood still while the nation takes its time to remember him. I rise a big ask in this call to celebration. What is it that calls us to slow down, to linger for a little while with so much swirling around us. We're summoned here because in a moment, when there are some in high office who are much better at division than vision who cannot lead us so they seek to divide us. In a moment when there is so much political cynicism and [11:13:48 AM] narcissism that masquerades as patriotism, here lies a true American patriot who risked his life and lived for the hope and the promise of democracy. [ Applause ] We celebrate John Lewis. Beaten and battered, but never bitter. On a bridge in Selma, he stared down bigotry and tyranny and won. How did he do it? The great-great-grandson of slaves, he received a spiritual power born of suffering that transcended human station and called upon the human law to more closely align itself with the law of love. Howard Thurmond said by some amazing, but vastly creative spirituality, the slave undertook the redemption of a religion that the master had profaned in his midst. John Lewis' ancestors met a man [11:14:50 AM] named Jesus in the brush of Alabama and Georgia and Mississippi and John Lewis received that faith and took it with him across that bridge in Selma, and every other bridge. We've come to celebrate John Lewis. [ Applause ] So let us be clear. When president Lyndon B. Johnson signed a bill into law, what he etched in ink had already been sanctioned by blood, the blood of the martyrs, the blood of Cheney and Goodman, two Jews and an African-American who were murdered in Mississippi, the blood of Viola, the blood of John Lewis. We celebrate John Lewis. He was wounded for America's transgressions, bruised for our [11:15:55 AM] inequities. The chastisement of our peace was from him, and from his strikes we are healed, so let's remember him today and let's recommit tomorrow to standing together and fighting together, and voting together and standing up on behalf of truth and righteousness, together. We'll get through this together. Let's worship the lord. Let's worship the lord together. Thank god for John Robert Lewis. Let the nation say amen. >> All: Amen. >> And let the angels rejoice. >> Psalm 23 will now be read by [11:16:57 AM] a niece of John Lewis. >> Good morning. I will be coming from the 23rd number of psalms. The lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leadeth me in the path of righteousness for his namesake. Shall I walk through the valley of the shadows of death I shall fear no evil for thou are with me. Prepares the table before me and the presence of my enemies. My cup runeth over. Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the lord forever. Thank you. >> And now a new testament [11:17:59 AM] reading from Mrs. Roslyn king, another niece. Of Mr. Lewis. And you notice there they are disinfecting the mic after each speaker. >> Good morning. I will now be reading the first chronicles, 13th chapter. If I could speak all the languages of Earth and of angels but didn't love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging symbol. If I had the gift of prophesy, and if I understood all of god's secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains but didn't love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it, but if I didn't love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is patient and kind. [11:19:00 AM] Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice, but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance. Prophesy and speaking in an unknown language, in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless, but love will last forever. Now our knowledge is partial, and incomplete, and even the gift of prophesy reveals only part of the whole picture, but when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless. When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child, but when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly like puzzling reflections in a [11:20:01 AM] mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely just as god now knows me completely. Three things will last forever. Faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love. Thank you. >> Good morning. While we know that death is the great equalizer, we all recognize that each person's experience with it is different, and so I want to extend condolences to you, the siblings of John Lewis and the entire -- >> That's the daughter of martin Luther king. >> On behalf of the entire king [11:21:03 AM] family, including my aunt Christine, my dad's only living sibling who would have been here with us today but for covid, but rest assured, she is viewing us on television as we speak. Let us pray. Great and mighty god, creator of us all and sustainer of all things, we invoke you on this morning. We welcome you, holy spirit into this place. We humbly look to you in this hour for wisdom and strength and comfort as we celebrate the homegoing of your son and servant, congressman John Robert Lewis. Please, dear father, comfort this family and grant them a piece of god that passes all understanding. [11:22:03 AM] Surround them with your love. In the words of your servant, martin Luther king Jr. Who reminded us that death is not a period that ends this great sentence of life, but a comma which punctuates it to a lofty and higher significance, help us, oh god, to grasp that truth and see the magnitude of this moment, not merely as the death of a great soul, but as a divine message that says to each and every one of us on this Earth, be still and know that I am god. Hear me and heed my message in this hour that love even for an enemy is the only way to transform this world into a true brother and sisterhood. We thank you, god, for the life and legacy of congressman John Lewis who showed us this more excellent way of life. [11:23:05 AM] We thank you for honoring us with his presence and allowing our lives to intersect with his life. Be with his family. Be with those who struggle with him in that movement, and know that he continues to live on, in and through each and every one of them and each and every one of us. We praise you, oh, god for this nonviolent warrior who fought for true peace which daddy taught us is not merely the absence of tension, but the presence of justice. (11:23:32) As we honor the life of congressman John Lewis, who shed blood on that Edmund Pettus bridge, that we might have the right to vote. Grant that we never again take that right for granted, and that we exercise it no matter what, and that we never again tamper with that right, overtaking this hour, our congress that they might restore voting rights [11:24:06 AM] protections in our nation. (11:24:02) As we honor the life of this nonviolent warrior who embodied the very spirit of Christ and showed us we have the power to resist evil and vitriol with the force of love and truth. We are eternally grateful, oh god that we lived among us for four score years and demonstrated on that bridge that physical force is no match for soul force. Grant us the capacity to follow his example to fight injustice without bitterness and hostility, but with a righteous indignation. Oh, god as Elijah asked for, and Elijah's anointing as he transition, let a portion of what John Lewis' life was about fall on us in this hour so that we can continue to get in good trouble. Anoint us with the double portion in this generation to [11:25:07 AM] get into good trouble until there is radical reform in policing in our nation. (11:25:07) Anoint us a double portion to get into good trouble until voter suppression is no longer apart of our body politic. Anoint us with the double portion to get into trouble until there is an equitable wage. Anoint us to get into good trouble until all labor is treated with dignity. Grant us oh father to get us into good trouble until the school, the prison pipeline is nonexistent and every child gets an equitable education. Dear god, grant us to get into good trouble until white supremacy around the world is uprooted in all of our policies and everyday practices no longer reflect white supremacy. Grant us a double portion, god, [11:26:08 AM] to get into good trouble until this nation truly becomes a compassionate nation because as daddy reminded us ultimately a great nation is a compassionate nation. Grant us, god, a double portion of anointing to get into good trouble until black bodies are no longer a threat in this world, and black lives have equitable representation, power and influence in every arena. Grant us finally, father god, that a double portion to get into good trouble until love becomes the way we live, the way we lead, the way we legislate, and until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness [11:27:10 AM] like a mighty stream. Thank you, oh god for this great man who lived among us who now joins the great cloud of freedom fighters, and lord we thank you for his life and his legacy, and we will continue to get into good trouble as long as you grant us the breadth to do so. It is the majestic in the mighty name Jesus the Christ that I do pray, and all of the people of god said together, amen. >> All: Amen. >> Dr. Bernice king invoking her father Dr. Martin Luther king Jr. On the causes of John Lewis' life. And now we will hear from Jennifer Holliday, only what you do from Christ will last. ?? [11:28:27 AM] ?? ?? ?? ? you may build great cathedrals ? ? large or small ? ? you may build skyscrapers, [11:29:29 AM] grand and tall ? ? you may conquer all the failures of your past ? ? oh, but only what you do for Christ will last ? ? you may think earthly power, [11:30:32 AM] wealth and fame ? ? and the world might be impressed by your great name ? ? some glories of this life will all soon be pass ? ? oh, oh, oh, but only what you do for Christ will last ? [11:31:37 AM] ? remember only what you do for Christ will last ? ? remember only, only, only, only what you do, yeah ? ? for Christ will last ? ? oh, only what you do it will counted ? ? in only what you do for Christ [11:32:43 AM] will last ? ? oh, remember only what you do for Christ will last ? ? oh, remember, what you do, only what you do for Christ will last ? ? only what, only what you do, what you do for Christ will be counted ? [11:33:49 AM] ? only what you, what you do for Christ, oh, it's going last ? ? oh, it's going to last, yeah ? ? oh, only what you do, what you do for Christ will last ? ? oh, whoa, oh ? ? only what you do for Christ will last ?? ? yeah, only what you do, only [11:34:53 AM] what you do ?? [ applause ] >> Jennifer Holliday. Now the poem invictus, one of John Lewis' favorites, will be read by a young man named tyber Faw. >> Out of the night that covers me, black as a pit from pole to to pole, I think whatever god may be for my inconquerable soul. I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chants, my head is bloodied, but I'm bowed. Beyond this place of breath and tears, looms but the horror of [11:35:53 AM] the shade, and yet menace of the years finds and shall find me unafraid. It matters not how straight the gay, how charged with punishment the scroll, I'm the master of my fate. I'm the captor of my soul. John Lewis was my hero, my friend, let's honor him by getting in good trouble. [ Applause ] >> Seven hours. He was greeted with a hug and kindness and friendship. >> Only the inconquerable spirit and the magnanimous soul of John Lewis could summon all of us together in this place at this [11:36:57 AM] time. Only John Lewis could compel three living American presidents to come to this house of god. [ Applause ] To celebrate his life. We are grateful that all of them are here. The honorable George W. Bush. [ Applause ] Who was president the last time we authorized the voting rights act. [ Applause ] The honorable William Jefferson Clinton. [ Applause ] [11:38:09 AM] And in just a little while, we'll hear from the honorable Barack Obama. [ Applause ] But the program will proceed as printed. President bush, president Clinton, speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi, and -- [ applause ] -- And another living saint among us, teacher and activist the reverend James Lawson. [ Applause ] [11:39:14 AM] >> Good morning. >> All: Good morning. >> Distinguished guests, John miles, Lewis family and friends, lord, I thank you for inviting us to be here today. John's story began on a tiny farm in Troy, Alabama, a place so small he said you could barely find it on the map. Why not talk to chickens? I did a little research. Every morning he would rise before the sun to tend to the flock of chickens. He loved those chickens. Already called to be a minister who took care of others, John fed them and tended to their every need, even their spiritual ones for John baptized them. He married them and he preached to them. When his parents claimed one for [11:40:18 AM] family supper, genre fused to eat one of his flock. Going hungry was his first act of nonviolent protest. He also noted in later years that his first congregation of chickens listened to him more closely than some of his colleagues in congress. John also thought that chickens were just a little more productive, at least they produced eggs, he said. From Troy to Nashville to the March on Washington, to Selma, John Lewis always looked outward, not inward. He always thought of others. He always believed in preaching the gospel in word and indeed, [11:41:18 AM] insisting the word of hate and fear had to be answered with love and hope. John Lewis believed in the lord. He believed in humanity, and he believed in America. He's been called an American saint, a believer willing to give up everything. Even life itself to bear witness to the truth that drove him all his life. That we could build a world of peace and justice, harmony, dignity and love, and the first crucial step on that journey was the recognition that all people are born in the image of god and carry a spark of the divine within them. Laura and I were privileged to see that spark in John up close. We worked with him to bring the national museum of African-American history and culture to the Washington mall. He was part of the Emmett till [11:42:21 AM] crimes act where justice had been too long denied. We will never forget joining him in Selma, Alabama for the 50th anniversary of his March across the Edmund Pettus bridge where we got to watch president Barack Obama thank John as one of his heroes. [ Applause ] There's a story in the old scriptures that meant a lot to John. In the hebrew bible, the lord is looking for a prophet. Whom shall I send, god wonders, and who will go for us? Isaiah answers, here am I. Send me. John Lewis heard that call a long time ago in segregated Alabama, and he took up the work of the lord through all his days. His lesson for us is that we all must keep ourselves open to the [11:43:21 AM] hearing -- open to hearing the call of love, the call of service and the call to sack -- sacrifice for others. Listen, (11:43:25) John and I had our disagreements of course, but in the America John Lewis fought for and the America I believe in, differences of opinion are inevitable elements and evidence of democracy in action. [ Applause ] We the people including congressmen and presidents can have differing views on how to perfect our union while sharing the conviction that our nation however flawed is at heart a good and noble one. We live in a better and nobler country today because of John Lewis, and his abiding faith in the power of god, in the power [11:44:23 AM] of democracy and in the power of love to lift us all to a higher ground. The story that began in Troy isn't ending here today, nor is the work. (11:44:30) John Lewis lives forever in his father's house, and he will live forever in the hearts of Americans who act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with their god. May the flights of angels see John Lewis to his rest and may god bless the country he loved. [ Applause ] >> President George W. Bush said he had his differences with John Lewis. He also said he shared patriot with him. [11:45:26 AM] Now president William Jefferson Clinton. [ Applause ] >> Thank you very much. First I thank John miles and the Lewis family and John's incomparable staff for a chance to say a few words about a man I loved for a long time. I am grateful in ebenezer, a [11:46:29 AM] holy place sanctified by both the faith and the works of those who worshipped here. I thank my friend reverend Bernice king who stood by my side and gave a fascinating sermon in one of the most challenging periods of my life. I thank president bush, president Obama, speaker Pelosi and representative Hoyer and representative Clyburn who I really thank for with the stroke of a hand, ending an intrafamily fight within our party, proving that peace is needed by everyone. [11:47:29 AM] Madam mayor, thank you. You have faced more than a fair share of challenges in these last few months, and you have faced them with candor and dignity and honor, and I thank you for that. [ Applause ] I must say for a fellow that got his start speaking to chickens, John's gotten a pretty finely organized and orchestrated and deeply deserved sendoff this last week. His homegoing has been something to behold. . [ Applause ] [11:48:30 AM] I think it's important that all of us who loved him remember that he was after all, a human being. A man like all other humans born with strengths that he made the most of when many don't. Born with weaknesses that he worked hard to beat down when many can't, but still a person. It made him more interesting, and it made him in my mind, even greater. 20 years ago we celebrated the 35th anniversary of the Selma March, and we talked together along with Coretta and many others from the movement who are no longer with us. [11:49:32 AM] We are grateful for Andy young and reverend Jackson and Diane Nash and many others who survive, but on that day, I got him to replay for me a story he told me when we first met back in the 1970s. I said, you know, I was just an aspiring whatever southern politician and had been elected governor, and he was already a legend. So I said, John, what's the closest you ever actually came getting killed to doing this? He said, well, once we were in a demonstration and I got knocked out on the ground and people were getting beat up pretty bad and I looked up and there was a man hold a long, heavy piece of pipe and he lifted it and was clearly going to bring it right down into my skull, and at the [11:50:33 AM] very last second, I turned my neck away and then the crowd pushed him a little bit. A couple of seconds later, I couldn't believe it. I was still alive. I think it's important to remember that. First because he was a quick thinker, and secondly because he was here on a mission that was bigger than personal ambition. Things like that sometimes just happen, but usually they don't. I think three things happened to John Lewis long before we met and became friends that made him who he was. First the famous story of John with his cousins and siblings holding his aunt's hand, more [11:51:33 AM] than a dozen of them running around in their little old wooden house as the wind threatened to blow the house off its moorings. Going to the place where the house was rising and all those tiny bodies trying to weigh it down. I think he learned something about the power of working together, something that was more powerful than any instruction. Second, nearly 20 years later when he was 23, the youngest speaker and the last speaker at the March on Washington. When he gave a great speech urging to take to the streets across the south to seize the chance to finally end racism, and he listened to people that he knew had the same goals. [11:52:36 AM] Say, well, we have to be careful how we say this because we're trying to get converts, not more adversaries. Just three years later, he lost the leadership to Stokely Carmichael because he said, you know, I really -- I think it was a pretty good job for a guy that young, and he come from Troy, Alabama. It must have been painful to lose, but he showed as a young man there are some things that you cannot do to hang on to a position because if you do them, you won't be who you are anymore, and I say there were two or three years there where the movement went a little bit too far towards Stokely, but in [11:53:36 AM] the end, John Lewis prevailed. We are here today because he had the kind of character he showed when he lost an election. [ Applause ] And there was bloody Sunday. He figured he might get arrested, and this was really important not to, for all the reps citing things we all believe about John Lewis. We had a really good mind and he was always trying to figure out how can I make the most of every single moment. So he was getting ready to March from Selma to Montgomery. He wants to get across the bridge. What do we remember? [11:54:38 AM] He made quite a strange figure. He had a trench coat and a backpack. Now young people probably think it's no big deal, but there weren't that many backpacks back then, and you never saw anybody in a trench coat looking halfway dressed up with a backpack. But John put an apple, an Orange, a toothbrush, toothpaste in the backpack to take care of his body because he figured he would get arrested. And two books. One, a book on America's political tradition to feed his mind, and one, the autobiography of Thomas Merten, a roman-catholic monk who was the son of artists making an [11:55:38 AM] astonishing personal transformation. A young guy about to get his brains beat out and planning on going to prison. He's taking that. I think he figured if Thomas Merten could find his way and keep his faith and believe in the future, he, John Lewis could too. [ Applause ] And -- so we honor our friend for his faith and for living his faith which the scripture says is the substance of things hoped for. The evidence of things unseen. (11:56:18) John Lewis was a walking rebuke to people who thought well, we ain't there yet. We have been working a long time. Isn't it time to bag it? He kept moving. He hoped for and imagined and lived and worked and moved for his beloved community. He took a savage beating on more than one day, and he lost that backpack on bloody Sunday. Nobody ever knows what happened to it. Maybe someday someone will be stricken with conscience and give some of it back, but what it represented never disappeared from John Lewis' spirit. We honor that memory today because as a child, he learned to walk with the wind, to March with others to save a tiny house. Because as a young man he challenged others to join him with love and dignity to hold America's house down and open the doors of America to all its [11:57:41 AM] people. (11:57:36) We honor him because in Selma on the third attempt, John and his comrades showed that sometimes you have to walk into the wind along with with it. As he crossed the bridge and marched into Montgomery, but no matter what, John always kept walking to reach the beloved community. He got into a lot of good trouble along the way, but let's not forget he also developed an absolutely uncanny ability to heal troubled waters. When he could have been angry and determined to cancel his adversaries, he tried to get converts instead. He thought the open hand was better than the clenched fist. He lived by the faith and [11:58:44 AM] promise of St. Paul. Let us not grow weary in doing good for a new season we will reap if we do not lose heart. He never lost heart. He fought the good fight. He kept the faith, but we got our last letter today on the pages of "The New York Times." Keep moving. It is so fitting, on the day of his service. He leaves us, our marching quarters. Keep moving. 20 years ago when I came here after the Selma March to a big dinner honoring John and Lillian and John miles, you had a big afro, and it was really pretty. And your daddy was giving you grief about it and I said, John, let's don't get old too soon. I mean, if I had hair like that, [11:59:46 AM] I would have it down to my shoulders. But on that night, I was almost out of time and people were -- to be president, and people were asking me, well, if you could do one more thing, what would it be? What do youbecause I had many friends in Atlanta. I said if I could just do one thing, if god came to me tonight and said okay, your time is up. You got to go home. I'm not a genie, I'm not giving you three wishes. One thing, what would it be? I said I would infect every American with whatever it was [12:00:48 PM] that John Lewis got as a 4-year-old kid and took through a lifetime to keep moving and keep moving in the right direction and keep bringing other people to move and to do it without hatred in his heart. With a song, to be able to sing and dance. As John's brother Freddie said in Troy, keep moving to the ballot box, even if it's a mailbox. Keep moving to the beloved community. John Lewis was many things, but he was a man, a friend, sunshine in a storm. A friend who would walk the stoney roads that he asked you to walk. That would brave the rods he asked you to be whipped by. Always keeping his eyes on the prize, always believing none of [12:01:49 PM] us will be free until all of us are equal. I just loved him. I always will. ------------ O you because I had many friends in Atlanta. I said if I could just do one thing, if god came to me tonight and said okay, your time is up. You got to go home. I'm not a genie, I'm not giving you three wishes. One thing, what would it be? I said I would infect every American with whatever it was that John Lewis got as a 4-year-old kid and took through a lifetime to keep moving and keep moving in the right direction and keep bringing other people to move and to do it without hatred in his heart. [12:01:05 PM] With a song, to be able to sing and dance. As John's brother Freddie said in Troy, keep moving to the ballot box, even if it's a mailbox. Keep moving to the beloved community. John Lewis was many things, but he was a man, a friend, sunshine in a storm. A friend who would walk the stoney roads that he asked you to walk. That would brave the rods he asked you to be whipped by. Always keeping his eyes on the prize, always believing none of us will be free until all of us are equal. I just loved him. I always will. I'm so grateful that he stayed true to form. [12:02:06 PM] He's gone up yonder and left us with marching orders. I suggest, since he's close enough to god to keep his eye on the sparrow and us, we salute, suit up and March on. [ Applause ] >> Former president Bill Clinton has known John Lewis since the 1970s. The house speaker Nancy Pelosi who served in the congress with John Lewis since the 1980s. NANCY PELOSI >> Good day. I'm not sure morning, afternoon, whatever it is. It's an honor to be here with each and every one of you. Reverend, thank you for enabling [12:03:08 PM] us all to be here to honor and celebrate the life of John Lewis with three presidents of the United States. Isn't that exciting? President Clinton, president bush and soon president Obama here with us. On behalf of my colleagues as speaker of the house I'm pleased to bring greetings to each and everyone of you. I'm sad to bring condolences to the family. John, miles, the entire Lewis family, thank you for sharing John Lewis with us. I'm pleased to be here with so many members, 50, we would have had more except coronavirus prevented the church from allowing us to bring more. I hope they'll all stand. Members of the house of representatives. [ Applause ] Senators Harris and booker who [12:04:10 PM] are with us as well. [ Applause ] Among them Mr. Hoyer, served with John Lewis for over 30 years, over 30 years. [ Applause ] In our group we have senior members and we have members of our freshmen class. John convinced each one of us that we were his best friend in congress. We come with a flag flown over the capitol the night that John passed. When this flag flew there, it said good-bye. It waved good-bye to John, our friend, our mentor, our colleague, this beautiful man that we all had the privilege of [12:05:12 PM] serving with in the congress of the United States. So, again, we all bring our condolences to the family, to Michael Collins and John's staff who meant so very much to him. Thank you for your service to John Lewis. [ Applause ] There are many things we're grateful to the family for and the staff for and we commend them for, but let's acknowledge the stamina they've had to keep up with John, even as he passed on from Troy to Selma to Montgomery to Washington and now to Atlanta to be at rest. When John Lewis served with us, he wanted us to see the civil [12:06:14 PM] rights movement and the rest through his eyes. He told us so many stories. He taught us so much. He took us to Selma for two decades, Mr. President, he took us to Selma. You referenced 25 years. Some of us were there many times, including the 50th anniversary where president bush was, as well as president Obama. He wanted us to see how important it was, how important it was to understand the spirit of nonviolence. I hesitate to speak about nonviolence in the presence of the master himself, reverend Lawson who we'll be hearing from shortly. We were together just recently in Selma when he and John spoke in church. He taught the world really about nonviolence. I just want to say this, the [12:07:16 PM] word -- is a word that means in sand script two things. It means nonviolence and it means insistence on the truth. That is what John Lewis was all about. Nonviolently insisting on the truth. He insisted on the truth in national, in Selma, in Washington, D.C., at the Lincoln memorial. He insisted on the truth wherever he went. He insisted on the truth in the congress of the United States. Every time he stood up to speak we knew that he was going to take us to a higher place of our understanding, of our responsibilities and what our opportunities were. He insisted no matter how, shall we say offended someone might be, that he would insist on the truth. What he said -- "In my life I [12:08:18 PM] have done all I can to demonstrate the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn," he says in this article "To let freedom ring." He always talked about truth marching on. He always worked for a more perfect union. *Pelosi Chokes Up* (12:08:37) Over the fourth of July weekend, I had the privilege of visiting with John and I brought him this flag pin that I wear, one just like it. Why I did so on that fourth of July weekend was because it is engraved with something that says one country, one destiny. Now wasn't that what John Lewis was all about? One country, one destiny. I mention it because this was [12:09:23 PM] sewn into the lining of Abraham Lincoln's coat that he had on the night he left us. I think he had the coat on all the time, but also that night. John Lewis and Abraham Lincoln had so much in common. John -- we got to know him first and foremost in front of the Lincoln memorial when he made that beautiful, beautiful speech. John lay in state under the rotunda of the capitol, under the dome of the capitol on a platform that was made in 1865 to hold the casket of Abraham Lincoln. [ Applause ] Abraham Lincoln, John Lewis. [12:10:26 PM] So, they had lots of connections. By the way, just incidentally, they were both wonderful and spiritual and saintly, but they were both very good politicians. Think of John Lewis that way. You will know that. He always was about a more perfect union. And he was always about young people. That's why, Mr. President, that article you referenced in the "New York Times" today, his message that would be delivered at this time as he left us was about young people. He says to them "Together you can redeem the world," together. One nation, one destiny. He says in the article "Answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe in." Wasn't that just like John? [12:11:28 PM] We were very proud to have his voice in the rotunda speaking about all that he cared about and believed in in such a beautiful way starting in Troy. I started my remarks by talking about the flag that waved over the capitol to say good-bye to John as he began his passage. But what I want you to know, in addition to how revered he is in the congress, so revered that he was a bit mischievous. When he would say let's make some good trouble, he always had a twinkle in his eye. When he cooked up having the sit-in to get the Republican leadership to put the gun violence about on the floor, the floor was covered with people [12:12:29 PM] and it was thought for a moment the police might -- it was disruptive, good trouble. It was clear to them that if they were to arrest John Lewis for doing that, they were going to have to arrest the entire house democratic caucus. [ Applause ] When he spoke, people listened. When he led, people followed. We loved him very much. As his official family, we mourn him greatly. He shared so much of his love for his district, his family. The sadness when Lillian was sick, the joy he had in John and miles. As I said, we wave good-bye to this person, our leader, our friend, this, shall we say, [12:13:29 PM] humorous -- he loved to dance. He loved to make us laugh. Sometimes while he was dancing. He said my grand daughter Bella said to him did you ever sing in the civil rights movement? He said they asked me to sing solo one time. So low so nobody could hear me. Getting back to that flag waving good-bye to this person we just loved, officially, personally, in every way, politically too. The last night he was at the capitol it wasn't raining. Thousands of people were showing up to pay their respects. Little bit after 8:00 there was a double rainbow, a double rainbow. But it hadn't rained. It was a double rainbow over the casket. For us it was -- we waved [12:14:29 PM] good-bye when he started to leave us. He was telling us -- he was telling us I'm home in heaven. I'm home in heaven with Lillian. (12:14:38) We always knew he worked on the side of the angels and now he is with them. May he rest in peace. Thank you. [ Applause ] >> Speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi, remembering with tears her friend John Lewis. The man she called the master of nonviolence. The man who mentored John Lewis, his friend James Lawson. [12:15:46 PM] 91 years old. He believed nonviolence would work in the civil rights era. [ Applause ] >> Thank you. Pastor, sisters and brothers, members of this Lewis family that is so wonderfully nurtured in love, hope, courage and faith and the rest of it. Sisters and brothers, a Polish [12:16:50 PM] catholic poet sets the tone at least in part for me as John Lewis has journeyed from the eternity of this extraordinary, mysterious human race into the eternity that none of us know very much about. When he wrote this poem called "Meaning" -- when I die, I will see the lining of the world, the other side beyond bird, mountain and sunset. The true meaning ready to be decoded, what never added up will now add up. What was incomprehensible will become comprehended. [12:17:53 PM] And, if there is no lining to the world, if a thrush on a branch is not a sign, but just a thrush on a branch. If night and day make no sense following each other and on this Earth there is nothing but the Earth. Even if that is so, there will remain a word wakened by the lips that perish, a tireless messenger who runs and runs through interstellar places, through revolving galaxies and calls out and protests and screams. I submit that John in that other eternity will be heard by us [12:18:54 PM] again and again running through the galaxies, still proclaiming that we the people of the usa can one day live up to the full meaning of we live these truths, live up to the meaning that we the people of the usa in order to perfect a more perfect union. John Lewis practiced not the politics that we call bipartisan. John Lewis practiced the politics that we the people of the U.S. Need more desperately than ever before, the politics of the declaration of Independence, the politics of the preamble to the constitution of the United States. [12:20:03 PM] I've read many of the so-called civil rights books of the last 50 or 60 years about the period between 1953 and 1973. Most of the books are wrong about John Lewis. Most of the books are wrong about how John got engaged in the national campaign of 1959 and '60. This is the 60th year of the sit-in campaign which swept into every state of the union, largely manned by students because we recruited students, but put on the map that the nonviolent struggle begun in Montgomery, Alabama. It was not an accident, but as [12:21:04 PM] martin king Jr. Called it, Christian love has power that we have never tapped and if we use it, we can transform not only our own lives but we'll transform the Earth in which we live. I counted as I moved to Nashville, Tennessee dropping out of graduate school in Nashville came people like Kelly Smith, Helen Roberts and John Lewis and Diane Nash, C.T. Vivian, Marion berry, Jim bevel, John Lafayette, Paulina knight, Angela butler. How all of us gathered in 1958 [12:22:07 PM] and '59, '60, '61 in the same city and same time, we did not plan it. We were all led there. When Kelly Miller Smith and the national Christian leadership council met in the fall of 1958 and we determined that if there's to be a second major campaign that will demonstrate the efficacy of soul force, of love truth, that we would have to do it in Nashville. So I planned as the strategist and organizer a four-point ghandi program to complete the [12:23:07 PM] campaign. We decided with great fear and anticipation we would desegregate downtown Nashville. No people anywhere else in the United States against a segregated system ever thought about desegregating downtown, tearing down the signs, renovating the waiting rooms, taking the immoral signs off drinking fountains. It was black women who made that decision for us in Nashville. I was scared to death when we made that decision. I knew nothing about how we were going to do this. I had never done it before. But we planned the strategy. [12:24:08 PM] John Lewis did not stumble in on that campaign. Kelly Miller Smith, his teacher at ABC, invited John to join the workshops in the fall of 1959 as we prepared ourselves to face violence and to do direct action and to put on the map the issue that the racism and the segregation of the nation had to end. So on the 60th anniversary of that sit-in campaign, which became the second major campaign of the nonviolent movement of America, those are not my words. John Lewis called what we did between 1953 and 1973 the nonviolent movement of America, not the crm. I think we need to get the story [12:25:08 PM] straight because words are powerful. History must be written in such a fashion that it lifts up truly the spirit of the John lewises of the world. [ Applause ] That's why I've chosen just to say a few words about it. Kelly Miller Smith invited John Lewis. I met a fifth student who told me about a student from Chicago who wanted to do something about those vicious signs. I said invite Diane Nash to the workshop in September because we're going to do something about those signs. I pushed this hard. Now John Lewis had no choice in the matter. You should understand that. [12:26:08 PM] Because all the stories we've heard this morning of John becoming a preacher, preaching to the chickens and other sorts of things, becoming ordained as a Baptist minister, something else was happening to John in those early years. John saw the malignancy of racism in Troy, Alabama. There formed in him a sensibility that he had to do something about it. He did not know what that was, but he was convinced he was called to do whatever he could do, get in good trouble, but [12:27:08 PM] stop the horror that so many folks lived through and in in this country in that part of the 20th century. John was not alone. Martin king had the same experience as a boy. I had the same experience from age 4 in the streets of maisland, Ohio. Matthew Mccullough a man whose name you don't know had the same experience. C.T. Vivian had the same experience. I maintain many of us had no choice to do, but we tried to do primarily because at an early age we recognized the wrong under which we were forced to live and we swore to god that by god's grace we would do whatever god called us to do in order to put on the table of the nation's [12:28:12 PM] agenda this must end. Black lives matter. [ Applause ] So between 1953 and 1973 we had major campaigns year after year. Thousands of demonstrations across the nation that supported it. We had folk in the congress, folk in the white house, folk scattered across the united States that were beginning to formulate the solutions for change. The media makes a mistake when John is seen only in relationship to the voting rights bill of '65. However important that is, you must remember that in the '60s Lyndon Johnson and the congress of the United States passed the most advanced legislation on behalf of we the people of the [12:29:14 PM] United States that was ever passed. Head start, billions of dollars for housing. We would not be in the struggle we are today in housing if president Reagan hadn't cut that billions of dollars for housing. Local churches and local nonprofits could build affordable housing in their own communities being sustained as finance by loans from the federal government. We passed medicare. We passed anti-poverty programs, civil rights bill '64, '65, voting rights bills, a whole array. (12:30:00) John Lewis must be understood as one of the leaders of the greatest advance of congress and the white house on behalf of we [12:30:15 PM] the people of the usa. [ Applause ] We do not need bipartisan politics if we're going to celebrate the life of John Lewis. We need the constitution to come alive. We hold these truths to be self-evident. We need the congress and the president to work unfaltering on behalf of every boy and every girl so every baby born on these shores will have access to the tree of life. That's the only way to honor John Robert Lewis. No other way. Let all of us in this service today, let all the people of the [12:31:17 PM] usa determine that we will not be quiet as long as any child dies in the first year of life in the United States. We will not be quiet as long as the largest poverty group in our nation are women and children. We will not be quiet as long as our nation continues to be the most violent culture in the history of human kind. We will not be quiet as long as our economy is shaped, not by freedom, but by plantation capitalism that continues to cause domination and control rather than access and liberty and equality for all. The forces of spiritual wickedness are strong in our [12:32:17 PM] land because of our history. We have not created them. John Lewis did not create them. We inherited them, but it's our task to see those spiritual forces -- I've named them. Racism, sexism, violence, plantation capitalism. Those poison and dominate far too many of us in many different ways. John's life was a singular journey from birth through the campaigns in the south and through congress to get us to see that these forces of wickedness must be resisted. Do not let our own hearts drink any of that poison. [12:33:19 PM] Instead, drink the truth of the life force. If we would honor and celebrate John Lewis' life, let us then use our souls, our minds, our hearts, our bodies, our strength to the continuing journey to dismantle the wrong in our midst and to allow a space for the new Earth and new heaven to emerge. I close with this poem from Langston Hughes which is a kind of sign and symbol of what John Lewis represents and what we too can represent in our continuing [12:34:21 PM] journey. Langston Hughes. I dream a world where no human, no other human will scorn, where love will bless the Earth and test its path. I dream a dream where all will know sweet freedom's way, where greed no longer SAPs the soul, nor blights or day. A world I dream where black and white and yellow and blue and green and red and brown, whatever your race may be, will share the bounties of the Earth and every woman, man, boy and [12:35:23 PM] girl is free. Where wretchedness hangs its head and joy like a pearl attends the need of all human kind. Such a world I dream. Celebrate life. Dream and labor for an Atlanta, Los Angeles, United States and a world, that is to celebrate the spirit and the heart and the mind and soul of John Lewis and to walk with him through the galaxies seeking equality, liberty, justice and the beloved community for all. Thank you. [12:36:25 PM] [ Applause ] >> What a mind, what power from James Lawson, honoring the mind, spirit and soul of John Lewis. 91 years old. Pastor Warnick. >> Three living presidents with [12:37:26 PM] us today. We have heard from yet another. To the friends and family of congressman John Lewis, Rosalyn joins me in sending our condolences. Throughout his remarkable life John has been a blessing to countless people and we are proud to be among those whose lives he has touched. While his achievements are enjoyed by all Americans, we Georgians know him as our neighbor, friend and representative. His enormous contributions will continue to be an inspiration for generations to come. Please know that you are in our hearts and prayers during this difficult time. We hope your warm memories and the love and prayers of your family and friends will be of comfort to you in the days ahead. Sincerely, Jimmy Carter. [12:38:31 PM] [ Applause ] >> Another musical selection from Kathleen Bertran, "If I can help somebody." ?? ?? ? if I can help somebody as I pass along ? ? if I can cheer somebody with a [12:39:35 PM] word or a song ? ? if I can show somebody that he's traveling wrong ? ? then my living shall not be in vain ? ? then my living shall not be in vain ? [12:40:39 PM] ? yes, my living shall not be in vain ? ? if I could help somebody as I pass along ? ? then my living shall not be in vain ? [12:41:43 PM] ? oh, if I can do my duty as a Christian ? ? if I can bring that beauty in a world of god ? ? if I could share love's message like the master taught ? ? then my living shall not be in [12:42:52 PM] vain ? ? then my living shall not be in vain ? ? yes, my living, yes, it shall not, shall not be in vain ? ? if I could help somebody, if I could help somebody as I pass [12:43:53 PM] along ? ? then my living, it shall not, then my living, it shall not, then his living, yes, shall not, hallelujah, his living, his living shall not, then my living shall not be in vain ? [12:45:04 PM] ? his living shall not be in vain ? [ applause ] >> Kathleen Bertrand. The next speaker, the founder of the trumpet foundation, long supported by John Lewis. First hugs we've seen today. >> I want to first call [12:46:06 PM] attention to the excellent job the media has done to inform us of John Lewis. Hasn't the media been tremendous in keeping us informed? [ Applause ] I've never seen such coverage, but John deserved it. I want to talk a moment in my presentation on John before he became famous. I met John when I came too Atlanta. Lillian miles and I came to Atlanta on the same day. She came to work for Atlanta university and I came to work for martin Luther king Jr. In the southern leadership [12:47:07 PM] conference. That's when I met John. Saw him all the time. We were all involved in the same quest for equity and justice in this America. I got a chance to see him all the time. I admired his fervor and all his tenacity. Lillian was single. So I decided that Lillian needed a good man, not just the bums who were approaching her. She was highly intellectual, well-travelled, well-educated and I wanted her to have someone who really would appreciate her skills and her talent. So I looked around and decided that I liked John. Lillian didn't like John particularly. So she thought he was kind of slow. I said, but, Lillian, he's busy. [12:48:11 PM] He's fighting the evils of the world and she said, yes, but. Well I decided, girl, listen, this boy is going places. Let's see what he can do to get this thing moving. So we decided -- well, I did, as her friend. That's what you do for friends. You have to help them out. So John had to go to the hospital for an examination and I said, oh, Lillian, this will be a good moment for us to be Florence nightingale. We went to the grocery store and bought a bunch of flowers and took it to the hospital. I said he'll be impressed because he was a little slow too. I said we'll go to the hospital and that would just impress him, that he will notice you more because you're bringing him flowers while he's in the [12:49:12 PM] hospital. Well, we got in the hospital. There was a young woman already there and she was stretching out his pillow and adjusting his comfort. Then Lillian said, oh, shoot. I said I already asked John, John, do you have a young woman you're especially interested in? He said, well, not really. I said that's not the answer I'm looking for. I want a more definitive answer because I got some things in mind. Well, you know John, was slow about -- well, not really. I decided on new year's eve, Lillian was single, as I said, and didn't have any plans. I said I'll have a dinner party and invite the two of them and maybe that will give us a chance. I was known as one who gave big [12:50:12 PM] parties. Lillian thought I was having a big party. John thought I was having a big party. When they got to my house, there was only room for three of us. The two of them and me. So now we're discussing the world and I'm hoping that they're going to get a little closer and closer. Well, when John didn't have a date on new year's eve, I knew he didn't have a commitment. Everybody has a date on new year's eve with somebody. I figured I'm ahead of the game. It's new year's eve, I got him. Then things started to happen. Still slowly, not fast enough for me, but I was patient. Finally Lillian said I do like him. I said, okay, I'm ready now. I'll set a date. Got her a dress ready. We're going to have a wedding. [12:51:14 PM] I'm not really sure -- I asked John not too long ago, did we ever ask her if you would take her? I don't think I gave him an opportunity to propose. We just had a wedding. [ Applause ] And so now it looks like things are going to be okay. We had a big wedding. I did all the planning because Lillian was still slow. I did all the planning. All the family came. We had a wedding. Now things were doing okay. She said, you know, I don't like the idea of that girl. Looks like she had some designs on John. I said, honey, don't run away from competition. We can handle competition. We'll get rid of that girl so fast she won't know what happened to her. And we did. [12:52:15 PM] And they got married. Well, I want you to know they were very happy, but when she found out -- Lillian as I said well-travelled, well-educated, but she didn't like politics. But, when John expressed an interest, Lillian got in there and became his strongest supporter. I mean, she did everything, everything to make his successes work for him and they did. Well, then John miles came along. He was the cutest little boy. Then she said -- they gave me the honor of being his godmother. I said, oh, that's nice. I heard of godmothers before. [12:53:16 PM] What does a godmother do? She said if something happens to me and John, we want you to take care of him. I said I got to feed him? John miles could eat as a kid. I said I got to feed him every day? They said yes. Then spank him when he acts up. Well, I agreed to that. John miles, do you mind, stand up? Stand up, John miles. That's John miles there now. Now, wait a minute. Take a good look at John miles. I'm 4'11". I'm almost 90 years old. There he is. I'm supposed to spank him when he doesn't do right? Now, when I walk up to John miles to give him a spanking, I got to get permission from him. [12:54:18 PM] Could I spank you? He's pretty big now. I loved John miles then and I love John miles now. I will take care of you and spank you whether you like it or not. [ Applause ] Lillian and John stayed married. I put it together, but it lasted 43 years. That's not a bad record, is it? They were happy and Lillian gave him every support a wife could ever give a partner. They gave love to John miles in the process. John was an unusual individual. Ambassador young sitting over [12:55:20 PM] here. We all loved him all the time. His sincerity was apparent. He worked hard and he said that he wasn't going to stop. I don't need to tell you anything about John. All of you knew him. All of you know his fervor and his commitment to equity and the love he had for everybody. And I want us to look at the John we thought we knew, the John who convinced us we knew the real man because he was constant. I asked him one time, John, what in the world is bad trouble? I said, when I was a young girl, my sister and I every time we [12:56:26 PM] went on a date, have a good time, but don't get in trouble. We didn't know nothing else other than trouble isn't good. John said the good trouble is when your mother says don't get in trouble, find the ways to right the wrongs of our society. He did a pretty decent job of that. [ Applause ] During this week John was on television all day every day. I love young people. I had an opportunity -- people know I love young people. I was invited to speak to a group of kids. I said to them, as you're watching television, I want you to know that's not a public relations program you're watching. That's the story of a man who lived the life they're talking [12:57:28 PM] about. John made a decision on the kind of life he was going to live. I said to those young people, you have the responsibility of making your life have the meaning you want it to be. You can either decide to be the bank robber or the bank owner. It's your choice. The man you're seeing on television decided that his life was going to have a quality to it. Do as much as you can as long as you can as often as you can because that's what John Lewis did. We won't forget John. But I would want to tell you, don't sit here and listen to these praises. [12:58:29 PM] Don't forget what you read in the newspapers of how wonderful he was. Do something about the man he asked us to be in ourselves and that is be kind to everybody. Love everybody. Speak up and speak out. I don't need to tell you. You know what he said. What you can do, and I want to advise you and admonish you, to really give meaning to the John we love. Vote. Thank you. [ Applause ] >> Talking about the love story of John Lewis and his work. William clay Campbell, the former mayor of the city of Atlanta. [12:59:47 PM] >> To John miles, presidents Clinton and Obama, speaker Pelosi, madam mayor, Romans 8:18 tells us for I consider the sufferings of the present time to not be worthy of the glory which shall be revealed to us. When I met John Lewis over 40 years ago, our lives intersected because in 1960 he came to my hometown, Raleigh, north Carolina to form snick at a small black college, Shaw university, where my father who was president of the naacp led nightly civil rights demonstrations. Again, in 1963 our lives [1:00:47 PM] intersected because my father returned from the March on Washington and he began raving about a speaker, young John Lewis, who electrified the crowd. So imagine when I finally met him in Atlanta in 1976 as a young law student, it was a transcendent moment like meeting an historical figure, Thomas Jefferson or Benjamin Franklin who wrote the declaration of Independence, but here was someone who made a nation live up to those words along with martin king, C.T. Vivian. John had an integrity and a purity which was like a halo. Somehow this extended to everyone who was in his orbit, [1:01:52 PM] myself included. That's the reason the nation has paused from pandemic and protests and politics to bid him farewell today. Virtually every news organization has hailed John as a civil rights hero. John was a women's rights hero. A gay rights hero. A senior's rights hero. A worker's hero. John wasn't on the right side of history. History was on the right side of John Lewis. [ Applause ] In his spare time he introduced the legislation to create the African-American history museum and he fought the bigots in congress for 15 years. [1:02:53 PM] One of his proudest moments was standing at the dedication of that monumental structure four years ago. For those who wondered if perhaps his time had passed, with his body ravaged with cancer, so frail and fragile that he yielded to a cane in what he surely knew would be his last public appearance, he summoned the strength to walk to the middle of black lives plaza in Washington, D.C. To express his solidarity and support for the young protesters who had begun to change America as John Lewis did as a young man. They say that the victors write history. I declare today the history of the 20th century as it is written, John Lewis will stand beside ghandi, king and Mandela as one of the great freedom fighters of human kind. [ Applause ] [1:03:57 PM] While the nation mourns a great leader, I will miss a dear, loving and loyal friend who allowed me the extraordinary privilege to walk along beside of a living saint, St. Lewis. In the last days of his life when we both knew that death was imminent, I desperately wanted to tell John about how much he meant to me and the country. In a solemn moment he pulled me close and whispered everyone has to vote in November. It's the most important election ever. [ Applause ] I promised him with every fiber in my body I would tell everyone if you truly want to honor this humble hero, make sure you vote. [1:04:59 PM] First tells us when faith hope and love remain, the greatest of these is love. John Lewis was love. Good night, sweet prince. May flights of angels carry thee. >> Former mayor of Atlanta, bill Campbell. Long-time friend of John Lewis with his last words. We'll now hear from Janelle Thompson who served as deputy chief of staff for the [1:06:11 PM] congressman. >> Good afternoon. I have on two masks because I have Mr. Lewis' voice in my head and he would say be particular. My name is jamella Thompson. On behalf of the staff I would like to thank John miles and the entire Lewis family for the honor and the privilege of sharing the congressman and Mrs. Lewis, who was his partner in life and in public service with generations of his staff for the last 33 years in the celebration of his life and legacy. The congressman would want me to tell you, as I like at you today in his favorite color, you look good. You look fresh. You look clean. You look beautiful. Thank you. We are honored to serve you. [1:07:11 PM] We were honored to serve him. We would also like to express our sincere and great appreciation to the speaker of the house of representatives, the majority leader, the majority whip, the clerk of the house of representatives, the office of employee assistance, the congressional black caucus and all of your amazing staff for your patience and your guidance during this very difficult time. People always ask us what was it like to work for congressman Lewis. What was he like up close? What was he like in real life? It is too difficult to explain. Our answer was always the same. He's just as you may imagine, but better and that no day was ever the same. What you know about the [1:08:13 PM] congressman is true. He was a gentlemen. He was of the people and a peaceful soul. When he came into the office every day, he would greet every staffer, every intern with a good morning, sir, good morning, ma'am. He would end every successful speech, thank you young brother. Thank you sister. Thank you my child or my dear. As staff we felt it was our duty to maintain a space where the congressman could be completely and wholly himself. In college we say there's the freshman 15 you gain. In our office there was the John Lewis 20. He and Michael would bring in lunch and far too often dessert because some cake, pie or brownie would be calling out to them and they would want everyone to come together and sit down and share a meal. [1:09:15 PM] We were a little family, a little enclave. A lot of drama, a lot of fun, and so much love. He broke down those work barriers and welcomed our parents, our spouses, our children, our grandchildren, our nieces and at the nephews into the circle. Sometimes the world got a little glimpse of our nest during these gatherings and certain videos may go viral. We were like a well-oiled machine when it came to policy and case work. Although we were like that in public, he enjoyed stirring things up in the office. You might call him a little bit of an instigator. [1:10:16 PM] He would get us in trouble with Michael, try and corner us with questions and stir things up. With time, you knew not to take the bait and you would learn to say, oh, no, congressman, you're not going to get me today. He would laugh. I think that's what I'm going to miss the most. I'm going to miss his laugh. Not the one you see on television, but the one where he would be sitting back shooting the wind and he would throw back his head and laugh from his heart, from his belly, from his soul. So many workers are often taught to be invisible. With Mr. Lewis he always saw you and made you feel special and worthy. Dr. King and Rosa parks spent time with him as a teenager and [1:11:16 PM] it changed the course of his life. I believe he spent every waking moment paying it forward. He could be absolutely exhausted, but still take one more picture, spend one more moment, especially with young people. This meant that we were always, always, always behind schedule. So the very first lesson in staffing of the congressman was to learn to operate on John Lewis time, which translates into late, but trusting that it would always work out. As he told everyone, he could out walk the entire staff. So our duty was to keep up. When it was time to move, we did. When it was time to be present and the congressman needed a little bit of quiet, we would try to create that space. [1:12:16 PM] He would slow down to appreciate and absorb the majesty of the moment for his own mental archives. Just as we tried to preserve the sanctity of his space, he allowed us to be our true and authentic selves. He found staff who were unique and represented a little bit of his personality and what he needed to compliment it. We made our ways to Mr. Lewis through random paths. Coincidences, strategies and for believers through divine intervention. He didn't hire based on a resume, but your energy, your passion and your potential. We were a group of musicians, air traffic controllers, photographers, dancers social workers, entertainers, artists, [1:13:17 PM] historians and every once in a while an actual lawyer or a political scientist. He got all into our business and was there in spirit, or in person, for the big moments. In the same way that he always took a call from Mrs. Lewis or John miles, he let us drop everything for a family emergency. Generations of children have fond memories of hanging out in his office as their parents worked nearby. He let us be ourselves, especially when it came to civic participation. He let us organize, protest, testify and always, always, [1:14:18 PM] always vote. We tried to absorb his energy and his lessons. To my knowledge, three staff served him for over 20 years. Ruth Burke, tiwari butler and first cousin Michael Collins. May you please stand. [ Applause ] There's a whole generation of staff right behind them at 19, 15, 17, 12, 14 years. Ruth Riley, Brenda Jones, [1:15:26 PM] Rochelle o'neil. Linda chasetain. Although some of you and some people moved on, you couldn't really because his spirit was in you forever. His voice was always in our head. Be kind, be mindful, be particular. Make it plain. Make it simple. Make it sing. Working for him was a little bit of a nightmare sometimes because no matter how hard we worked, he always worked harder. Every single day he woke up at the crack of dawn, watched the news and read the newspapers. His memory was like a living [1:16:32 PM] which means he forgot nothing. He expected us to be informed with facts from primary sources, not hearsay. He would ask what constituents were calling and writing about and add that information to his endless archives. You learned the hard way or the subtle way because he was not direct. When he asked you a question, he usually knew the answer. He wanted to see whether or not you could represent him and his constituents. When preparing for a big vote or a big speech, he would drop a subtle hint. Have you read this poem, this speech, a book, some scripture? Do you remember this painting? Then he would say let's come back and talk about it later on. This little hint would prepare you for the aftermath of those [1:17:34 PM] executive sessions he had with himself. After those sessions we would learn how and in which direction the spirit moved him. Then we would have our marching orders. He would take the essence of a complicated policy and make it accessible and real to the people. The congressman loved serving on the ways and means committee. He always showed up. He hated to miss votes on the floor. Let me say that again. He could not stand to miss votes. The voice messages I have from him about the votes that he was about to miss are still on my phone to this day. This is the reason why we are so thankful that congressman kilde and his staff were willing to serve and help us cast these ballots during this pandemic and [1:18:36 PM] to serve as his proxy. The congressman would walk the halls, or sit in committee, or sit in the office and he loved the beauty of the house of representatives. He loved the closeness to the people and the complicated status of our nation. Every visitor our office received a full dose of southern hospitality, the offer of a Georgia coke, some peanuts, a brief tour of his office and some time on our beloved balcony with its stunning view of the capitol. While he loved his country, the record should be clear on his immense pride in representing Georgia's fifth congressional district. He was so proud to represent metro Atlanta and all of its cities, all its counties and all its people. He was on a mission to serve, to make them feel heard, respected [1:19:37 PM] and represented regardless of where they fell on the political spectrum. The constituents were a compass and congressman Lewis worked around the clock to find solutions to their challenges. When it came to public service and public policy, his name did not need to be on the headlines or on the frontlines. It was the action and the results that mattered. Not every problem needs a bill. He could always find compromise without compromising his values or his principles when the challenge presented itself. He played the long game and he knew every trick in the book and he expected the staff to fight in a nonviolent manner for the people. When constituents were concerned [1:20:37 PM] about the rights of soviet jewelry, he took action. When faced with equality in health services he advanced changes to reduce the cost for life-saving care. Especially for the issues that affected communities of color like kidney disease and COPD. When workers faced pension issues, he found ways to give them security. When families were separated by immigration policies, he worked around the clock to reunite them. When people couldn't get their social security checks, he fought to make that happen. When tax payers were struck and struggled with an outdate bureaucracy of the irs he worked to modernize the entire agency. When he heard from frustrated veterans, he fought for their respect, their earned benefits and their care. When he saw an alarming increase in abusive relationships, he [1:21:38 PM] developed strategies to stop the cycle before it began. When some tried to eliminate the U.S. Institute of peace, he found a way to keep that building and the prospect and the hope of peace still alive. When he was worried about the state of our globe for generations yet unborn, he introduced the environmental justice act. When looking at the rights of marginalized communities around the world, he worked to diversify the face of our diplomacy and insert empathy and standards to our global policies. When people complained about I am moveable lines to vote he co-wrote the voters act. The list is too long to recognize his legislative policies and success and impact he has on people around the world. As we sit in this historic space [1:22:38 PM] and as you drive-through metro Atlanta and you feel the greatness of his legacy, historic preservation and civic education, I ask that you hold that in your heart and your soul and your spirit. He felt that we needed to know and study our history to make sure that we never repeated it. He was both human and divine. It's so difficult to explain the magnitude, the genius, the gentle grace of this man. I would ask at this moment for the staff to take a stand please so that you can see and know just a sample of who we are. [ Applause ] Former staff. [1:23:47 PM] Thank you. A few years ago we had a reunion. We realized there aren't that many staff. We have a lot of interns and fellows, but the congressman held us close. I don't think there are many offices where you have the opportunity to hold your boss' hand and adjust his tie and tell every person that you loved them. He created this space. He created this family. As a staff, we are heart broken. We are lost. We know that the work continues, the fight remains. We cannot, we must not get lost in the sea of despair. So, if asked how you may honor the congressman, I will echo the words of the greats who stood here before. You can make sure that his work, his sacrifice, his message lives on and that there are actions that every person can do [1:24:48 PM] regardless of their age or station in life. Be kind. Be mindful. Recognize the dignity and the worth of every human being. Be the best version of yourself. Be informed. Stay engaged. Even though the work is hard. If you are of age and eligible, for the love of god, please vote. Thank you. [ Applause ] >> Life and legacy of the man she worked for so closely. How lovely to be remembered as an icon, someone you imagined, but better. Now Sheila Lewis o'brien, a niece of congressman Lewis. [1:26:02 PM] >> Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Sheila o'brien. I am the sixth niece of congressman John Lewis. To each distinguished guest, member of clergy, family and friends, on behalf of the Lewis family we would like to say thank you from the very depths of our hearts at the outcome of love, support, words of encouragement and prayer. The honor, the respect, the comradery that has been bestowed upon the Lewis family will never be forgotten. We would like to give a thanks to chief of staff, Michael Collins, who has now become first cousin -- [ applause ] -- And to each staff member that's worked tirelessly with and for congressman Lewis, especially during this time. [1:27:02 PM] Words are not enough to express how grateful we are for all that you have done, especially for our cousin John miles. I'm here to pay tribute to a man that was larger than life. To the world he is known as the honorable congressman Lewis. To his family he's known as Robert. To his nieces and nephews he's known as uncle Robert. Uncle Robert loved his family. We loved him. He was a son to our grandparents Eddie Lewis who we called grand daddy buddy and Willie may Lewis who we called ma. He was the husband to aunt Lillian, the father to one son, our cousin, John miles, and the brother to a lot of siblings. Too many to name right now. We don't have time. [1:28:04 PM] While we knew how important he and his work was to the world, when we were with him, we saw uncle Robert. We saw the man that enjoyed spending time with his family, reminiscing about days gone by, catching up on family dynamics, enjoying a good meal, sharing laughter and love. We, like the world, knew that John Robert Lewis personified hope, courage, bravery and shear humanitarianism. As we all know before he was chosen to congress, yes, I say chosen, the word of god tells me that many are called, but few are chosen. His first call was to that of the civil rights movement. For the last 60 years as a nonviolent civil rights activist he was a voice for those who couldn't speak, the feet for those who couldn't walk and the [1:29:05 PM] champion of injustice for those that couldn't fight. He along with many other civil rights icons became the change agents that the world so desperately needed. As a member of congress, he was known as the conscious of congress. He has been recognized, revered and held to the highest esteem for the work he's done. He broke barriers. He tore down walls. He defied stereotypes and refused to be moved from his stance on injustice, liberty and freedom. He made time for everyone and was always picture ready. He did not miss an opportunity for a photo op or to just take a few moments to talk to his constituents or to those that revered him. His love was contagious and could be felt each time you were in his presence. Over the last several days, listening to the numerous [1:30:07 PM] accomplishments, some of which he labored for years over, it is evident why his life is being celebrated at this magnitude. He truly made an impact, not just on America, but on the world. Today we celebrate the life of congressman John Lewis, our uncle Robert, the man who labored, the man who taught, the man who walked, fought, knelt, sat, held hands with both blacks and whitings, bled, lifted his voice, bent his knees and was willing to give up his life for a righteous cause. Let's continue this celebration of life by taking up the baton he has now laid down and endeavored to get into trouble, good trouble, necessary trouble. Let's not give up. Let's not give in. Let's never give out. Let's keep the faith, keep our [1:31:10 PM] eyes on the prize. Rest in power, uncle Robert. May your legacy live on and never die. We believe you have heard the words from our heavenly father. Well down, my good and faithful servant. I say to all of us, weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Guess what? It's morning time. [ Applause ] >> Sheila Lewis o'brien. We will now hear again from Jennifer holiday singing "Take my hand precious lord." [1:32:14 PM] >> A few years ago congressman John Lewis attended the inauguration of an American president. Although he had seen many presidents, he made a beeline to this president and asked him to sign his program. He signed the program in this way, because of you, John, it's my esteem honor to welcome back to the ebenezer pulpit the 44th president of the United States of America, Barack Obama. Before he comes, Jennifer holiday will come once again. "Take my hand precious lord, lead me on." ?? ?? [1:33:23 PM] ? precious lord, take my hand ? ? lead me on, let me stand ? ? I am tired ? ? I am weak ? OBAMA STARTS 13:40:00 >> Jennifer holiday. There's the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama. He's entering the sanctuary. [ Applause ] [1:40:07 PM] >> James wrote to the believers, considerate it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance, so you may mature and complete, lacking nothing. It is a great honor to be back at ebenezer Baptist church at the pulpit of its greatest [1:41:09 PM] pastor, Dr. Martin Luther king, Jr., to pay my respects to perhaps his finest disciple. An American whose faith was tested again and again to produce a man of pure joy and unbreakable spirit, John Lewis. To those who spoke, presidents bush and Clinton, madam speaker, reverend Warnick, reverend king, John's family, friends, his beloved staff, mayor bottoms, I've come here today because I, like so many Americans, owe a great debt to John Lewis and his forceful vision of freedom. Now this country is a constant work in progress. We're born with instructions to form a more perfect union. Explicit in those words is the idea that we're imperfect, that what gives each new generation purpose is to take up the unfinished work of the last and carry it further than any might have thought possible. 134256 John Lewis, first of the freedom riders, head of the student nonviolent coordinating committee, the youngest speaker at the March on Washington, leader of the March from Selma to Montgomery, member of congress representing the people of this state and this district for 33 years, mentor to young people, including me at the time, until his final day on this Earth. He not only embraced that responsibility, but he made it his life's work. Which isn't bad for a boy from Troy. [1:43:48 PM] John was born into modest means. That means he was poor. In the heart of the Jim crow south to parents who picked somebody else's cotton. Apparently he didn't take to [1:44:15 PM] farm work. On days when he was supposed to help his brothers and sisters with their labor, he would hide under the porch and make a break for the school bus when it showed up. His mother Willie Mae Lewis nurtured that curiosity in this shy, serious child. Once you learn something, she told her son, once you get something inside your head, no one can take it away from you. As a boy, John listened through the door after bedtime as his father's friends complained about the clan. One Sunday as a teenager he heard Dr. King preach on the radio. As a college student in Tennessee, he signed up for Jim [1:45:17 PM] Lawson's workshop on the tactic of nonviolent civil disobedience. John Lewis was getting something inside his head. An idea he couldn't shake. Took hold of him. Nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience were the means to change laws, but also change hearts and change minds and change nations and change the world. So he helped organize the Nashville campaign in 1960. He and other young men and women sat at a segregated lunch counter. Well-dressed, straight back, refusing to let a milkshake poured on their heads or a cigarette extinguished on their backs, or a foot aimed at their [1:46:22 PM] ribs, refused to let that dent their dignity and their sense of purpose. After a few months, the Nashville campaign achieved the first successful desegregation of public facilities in any major city in the south. John got a taste of jail for the first, second, third -- well, several times. But he also got a taste of victory and it consumed him with righteous purpose. He took the battle deeper into the south. That same year, just weeks after the supreme court ruled that segregation of interstate bus facilities was unconstitution, [1:47:25 PM] John and Bernard Lafayette bought two tickets, climbed aboard a greyhound and refused to move. This was months before the first official freedom rides. He was doing a test. Trip was unsanctioned. Few knew what they were up to. At every stop through the night, apparently the angry driver stormed out of the bus and into the bus station and John and Bernard had no idea what he might come back with or who he might come back with. Nobody was there to protect them. There were no camera crews to record events. [1:48:31 PM] You know, sometimes, rev, we read about this and we kind of take it for granted, or at least we act as if it was inevitable. (13:48:43) Imagine the courage of two people Malia's age, younger than my oldest daughter, on their own to challenge an entire infrastructure of oppression. John was only 20 years old, but he pushed all 20 of those years to the center of the table. Betting everything, all of it, that his example could challenge centuries of convention and generations of brutal violence [1:49:33 PM] and countless daily indignities suffered by African-Americans. Like John the Baptist preparing the way, like those old testaments prophets speaking truth to kings, John Lewis did not hesitate and he kept on getting on board buses and sitting at lunch counters. Got his mugshot taken again and again. Marched again and again on a mission to change America. Spoke to a quarter million people at a March on Washington when he was just 23. Helped organize the freedom summer in Mississippi when he was just 24. At the ripe old age of 25, John [1:50:37 PM] was asked to lead the March from Selma to Montgomery. He was warned that governor Wallace ordered troopers to use violence. But he and Jose Williams and others led them across that bridge anyway. We've all seen the film and the footage and the photographs. President Clinton mentioned the trench coat, the nap sack, the book to read, the apple to eat, the tooth brush. Apparently jails weren't big on such creature comforts. You look at those pictures and John looks so young. He's small in stature. [1:51:37 PM] Looking every bit that shy, serious child that his mother raised. Yet, he's full of purpose. God put pesevarance in him. We know what happened to the marchers that day. Their bones were cracked by Billy clubs. Their eyes and lungs choked with tear gas. They knelt to pray, which made their heads easier targets. John was struck in the skull. He thought he was going to die. Surrounded by the sight of young Americans gagging and bleeding and trampled, victims in their [1:52:38 PM] own country of state-sponsored violence. The thing is I imagine initially that day the troopers thought they won the battle. You can imagine the conversations they had afterwards. [ Applause ] You can imagine them saying, yeah, we showed them. They figured they turned the protesters back over the bridge, that they kept, that they preserved a system that denied the basic humanity of their fellow citizens. Except this time there were some cameras there. This time the world saw what [1:53:38 PM] happened, bore witness to black Americans who were asking for nothing more than to be treated like other Americans. They were not asking for special treatment, just equal treatment, promised to them a century before and almost another century before that. When John woke up and checked himself out of the hospital, he would make sure the world saw a movement that was, in the words of scripture, hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed. Perplexed, but not in despair. Persecuted, but in the abandoned. [1:54:39 PM] Struck down, but not destroyed. [ Applause ] He retired to brown chapel, a battered prophet, bandages around his head. He said more marchers will come now, and the people came, and the troopers parted, and the marchers reached Montgomery. Their words reached the white house. Lyndon Johnson, son of the south, said we shall overcome, and the voting rights act was signed into law. (13:55:30) The life of John Lewis was in so many ways exceptional. It vindicated the faith in our founding, redeemed that faith. The most American of ideas, the idea that any of us, ordinary people without rank or wealth or title or fame, can somehow point out the imperfections of this nation and come together and challenge the status quo, decide that it is in our power to remake this country that we love until it more closely aligns with our highest ideals. What a radical idea. What a revolutionary notion. The idea that any of us, ordinary people, a young kid from Troy can stand up to the [1:56:48 PM] powers and principles and say no, this isn't right, this isn't true, this isn't true. We can do better. On the battlefield of justice Americans like John, Americans like reverends lowery and C.T. Vivian, two other patriots we lost this year, liberated all of us, the many Americans came to take for granted.(13:57:30) America was built by people like them. America was built by John lewises. [ Applause ] (13:57:44) He, as much as anyone in our history, brought this country a little bit closer to our highest ideals. And some day, when we do finish that long journey towards freedom, when we do form a more perfect union, whether it's years from now or decades or even if it takes another two centuries, John Lewis will be a founding father of that fuller, fairer, better America. [ Applause ] And, yet as exceptional as John was, here's the thing, John never believed that what he did was more than any citizen of this country can do. I mentioned in the statement the [1:58:53 PM] day John passed, thing about John was how gentle and humble he was. And, despite this storied, remarkable career, he treated everyone with kindness and respect because it was innate to him, this idea that any of us can do if we're willing to persevere. He believed that in all of us there exists the capacity for great courage. That in all of us there's a longing to do what's right, that in all of us, there's a willingness to love all people [1:59:54 PM] and extend to them their god given rights to dignity and respect. So many of us lose that sense. It's taught out of us. We start feeling as if, in fact, we can't afford to extend kindness or decency to other people, that we're better off if we're above other people and looking down on them and so often that's encouraged in our culture, but John always said -- he always saw the best in us, and he never gave up and never stopped speaking out because he saw the best in us. He believed in us even when we didn't believe in ourselves. [2:01:03 PM] And as a congressman he didn't rest. He kept getting himself arrested. As an old man, he didn't sit out any fight, sat in all night long on the floor of the united States capitol. I know his staff was stressed. [ Laughter ] But the testing of his faith produced perseverance. He knew that the March is not over, that the race is not yet won, that we have not yet reached that blessed destination where we are judged by the content of our character. 140143 He knew from his own life that progress is fragile. That we have to be vigilant against the darker currents of this country's history, of our own history, where there are whirlpools of violence and hatred and despair that can always rise again. Bull conner may be gone but today we witness with our own eyes police officers kneeling on the necks of black Americans. 140225 George Wallace may be gone, but we can witness our federal government sending agents to use tear gas and batons against peaceful demonstrators. [ Applause ] We may no longer have to guess the number of jelly beans in a jar in order to cast a ballot, but (14:02:58) even as we sit here there are those in power who are doing their damndest to discourage people from voting 140309 By closing polling locations and targeting minorities -- [applause over speaker, cannot verify this snapstream --and students with restricted I.D. Laws and attacking our voting rights with surgical precision even undermining the postal service in the run-up to an election that's going to be dependent on mail-in ] 140331 --- ballots so people don't get sick. I know this is a celebration of John's life. There are some who might say we shouldn't dwell on such things, but that's why I'm talking about it. (14:03:53) John Lewis devoted his time on this Earth fighting the very attacks on democracy and what's best in America that we're seeing circulate right now. [2:04:13 PM] He knew that every single one of us has a god given power and that the faith of this democracy depends on how we use it that, democracy isn't automatic. It has to be nurtured, it has to be tended to. We have to work at it. It's hard. And so he knew that it depends on whether we summon a measure, just a measure of John's moral courage to question what's right and what's wrong. And call things as they are. [2:05:07 PM] He said that as long as he had a breath in his body he would do everything he could to preserve this democracy and as long as we have breath in our bodies, we have to continue his cause. If we want our children to grow up in a democracy, not just with elections but a true democracy, a representative democracy and a big-hearted, tolerant, vibrant, inclusive America of perpetual self-creation, then we're going to have to be more like John. We don't have to do all the things he had to do because he did them for us, but we got to do something. As the lord instructed Paul, do not be afraid, go on speaking, do not be silent for I am with [2:06:10 PM] you and no one will attack you to harm you for I have many in this city who are my people. It's just everybody's got to come out and vote. We got all those people in the city, but they can't do nothing. Like John we've got to keep getting into that good trouble. He knew that nonviolent protests is patriotic, a way to raise public awareness and put a spotlight on injustice and make the powers that be uncomfortable, like John, we don't have to choose between protests and politics. It's not an either/or situation, it's a both and situation. We have to engage in protests where that's effective but we also have to translate our [2:07:12 PM] passion and our causes into laws, institutional practices. That's why John ran for congress 34 years ago. Like John we've got to fight even harder for the most powerful tool that we have, which is the right to vote. The voting rights act is one of the crowning achievements of our democracy. It's why John crossed that bridge. It's why he spilled his blood and by the way, it was the result of democratic and Republican efforts. President bush, who spoke here earlier, and his father signed its renewal when they were in office. President Clinton didn't have to because it was the law when he [2:08:15 PM] arrived, so instead he made a law to make it easier for people to register to vote. But once the supreme court weakened the voting rights act, some state legislators unleashed a flood of laws designed specifically to make voting harder, especially by the way state legislators where there is a lot of minority turnout and population growth. That's not necessarily a mystery or an accident. It was an attack on what John fought for, it was an attack on our democratic freedoms and we should treat it as such. If politicians want to honor John and I'm so grateful for the [2:09:18 PM] legacy and work of all the congressional leaders who are here, but there's a better way than a statement calling him a hero. You want to honor John ? let's honor him by revitalizing the law that he was willing to die for. [ Applause ] And, by the way, naming it the John Lewis voting rights act, that is a fine tribute, but John wouldn't want us to stop there, just trying to get back to where we already were. Once we pass the John Lewis voting rights act, we should keep marching to make it even better. [ Applause ] [2:10:19 PM] By making sure every American is automatically registered to vote including former inmates who have earned their second chance. By adding polling places and expanding early voting and making election day a national holiday so if you are somebody who is working in a factory or you're a single mom who's got to go to her job and doesn't get time off, you can still cast your ballot. By guaranteeing that every American citizen has equal representation in our government including the American citizens who live in Washington, D.C. And in Puerto Rico, they're Americans. [ Applause ] [2:11:19 PM] By ending some of the partisan gerrymandering so that all voters have the power to choose their politicians, not the other way around and if all this takes eliminating the filibuster, another Jim crow relic in order to secure the god given rights of every American, then that's what we should do. [ Applause ] Now, even if we do all this, even if every bogus voter suppression law is struck off the books today, we got to be honest with ourselves that too many of us choose not to exercise the franchise. Too many of our citizens believe their vote won't make a difference or they buy into the cynicism that by the way is the central strategy of voting [2:12:21 PM] suppression to make you discouraged to stop believing in your own power. So we're also going to have to remember what John said, if you don't do everything you can do to change things, then they will remain the same. You only pass this way once. You have to give it all you have. As long as young people are protesting in the streets, hoping real change takes hold, I'm hopeful, but we can't casually abandon them at the ballot box. Not when few elections have been as urgent on so many levels as this one. We can't treat voting as an errand to run if we have some time. We have to treat it as the most important action we can take. [2:13:24 PM] On behalf of democracy and like John, we have to give it all we have. (14:13:40) I was proud that John Lewis was a friend of mine. I met him when I was in law school. He came to speak. And I went up and I said, Mr. Lewis, you are one of my heroes. What inspired me more than anything as a young man was to see what you and reverend Lawson, Bob Moses, Diane Nash and others did and he got that kind of aw shucks, thank you very much. [ Laughter ] Next time I saw him, I had been [2:14:28 PM] elected to the United States senate and I told him, John, I'm here because of you. And on inauguration day in 2008/2009, he was one of the first people I greeted and hugged on that stand and I told him, this is your day too. He was a good and kind and gentle man and he believed in us. Even when we don't believe in ourselves. And it's fitting that the last time John and I shared a public forum was on zoom and I'm pretty sure neither he nor I set up the zoom call because we didn't know [2:15:28 PM] how to work it. It was a virtual town hall with a gathering of young activists who had been helping to lead this summer's demonstrations in the wake of George Floyd's death. And afterwards I spoke to John privately and he could not have been prouder to see this new generation of activists standing up for freedom and equality, a new generation that was intent on voting and protecting the right to vote. In some cases a new generation running for political office, and I told him all those young people, John, of every race and every religion from every background and gender and sexual orientation, John, those are your children. They learned from your example. Even if they didn't always know [2:16:33 PM] it. They'd understood through him what American citizenship requires even if they had only heard about his courage through the history books. By the thousands faceless anonymous relentless young people, black and white have taken our whole nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in the formulation of the constitution and the declaration of Independence. Dr. King said that in the 1960s and it came true again this summer. We see it outside our windows in big cities and rural towns in men and women, young and old, straight Americans and lgbtq Americans, blacks who long for [2:17:33 PM] equal treatment and whites who can no longer accept freedom for themselves while witnessing the sub jrue situation of their fellow Americans. [ Applause ]jugation of their fellow Americans. [ Applause ] We see it in everybody doing the hard work of overcoming complacency, of overcoming our own fears and our own prejudices, our own hatreds, you see it in people trying to be better, truer versions of ourselves. And that's what John Lewis teaches us. That's where real courage comes from, not from turning on each other, but by turning towards one another. Not by sowing hatred and [2:18:35 PM] division, but by spreading love and truth, not by avoiding our responsibilities to create a better America and a better world, but by embracing those responsibilities with joy and perseverance and discovering that in our beloved community, we do not walk alone. What a gift John Lewis was. We are all so lucky to have had him walk with us for awhile and show us the way. God bless you all. God bless America. God bless this gentle soul who pulled us closer to his promise. [2:19:37 PM] Thank you very much. [ Applause ] >> Barack Obama, president of the United States, number 44. His friend and mentor, John Lewis, the man martin Luther king called his disciple. Now we'll hear from B.B. And Marvin Winans. An original song they commissioned in honor of the congressman. ?? >> Thank you so much. We are honored to be here. I would like to thank brother Michael Collins for about a week before the congressman passed, he called B.B. And so B.B. And I and my sister cece had [2:20:38 PM] opportunity to sing to him and one of the songs we sang songs differently but the one song I'd like for everyone that who would just join in. ? We shall overcome ? ? we shall overcome ? ? we shall overcome someday ? ? oh deep in my heart I do believe ? ? we shall overcome someday ?? [2:21:42 PM] >> Upon hearing that I heard he opened his eyes because that was the song that led and was the heart of those marches. Has written another song as the memory of uncle Robert as you'd call him because he treated us all like family. And I hope you enjoy it. ? Born in Alabama born in Troy, Alabama ? ? to will will may sharecroppers [2:22:45 PM] working in the heat of the day ? ? he knew there was much more so he asked the lord to show ? ? yes, he did ? ? all he achieved in his life we already know ? ? he was there in a hurry told you the truth don't you worry ? ? he was willing to fight in the struggle ? ? and he was willing to get in good trouble ? ? yes, he was, oh, yes, he was ? ? he was willing to get in good trouble ? ? he took on the wrong of this world like civil voting rights ? [2:23:49 PM] ? no matter the problems he faced he kept his eyes on the prize ? ? and then he learned to walk and believe god until the end ? ? yes, he did ? ? and knew he would overcome that and love is gone with him ? ? he was there when you called don't you worry he'd tell the truth in a hurry ? ? he was willing to fight for the struggle and willing to get in good trouble ? ? yes, he was oh, yes, he was ? ? willing to get in good trouble ? ? and as you put on your robe to go home we will continue the [2:24:50 PM] fight and be strong ? ?? ? we'll continue to fight continue to fight ? ? he was there when you called on him in a hurry ? ? he'd tell you the truth don't you worry ? ? he was willing to fight for the struggle ? ? and he was willing to get in good trouble ? ? he was willing to fight he was ready to fight ? ? he was willing to get in good trouble ? ? he was willing to fight he was ready to fight ? ? he was willing to get in good trouble ? ? he was willing to fight, willing to fight ? ? yes, he was willing to get in good trouble ? ? willing to fight he was ready [2:25:50 PM] to fight ? ? yeah, he was willing to get in good trouble ? ? he was willing to fight ready to fight 'cause he was willing to get in good trouble ? ? willing to fight ready to fight 'cause he was willing to get in good trouble ? ? willing to fight thank you for that ? ? willing to get in good trouble ? ? he was willing to fight we should be ready to fight ? ? and willing to get in good trouble ?? [ applause ] [2:26:58 PM] ?? >>> Let us pray. And when he shall die, take him and cut him into stars. He shall make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will grow in love with night and pay no worship to the garish sum. Gracious and loving god we commend into your safety the soul of your son, John Robert Lewis. You've seen the affidavit of his deeds, yes. [2:27:59 PM] He stayed in trouble, good trouble. Necessary trouble. He fought the good fight. He finished his course. He kept the faith. And now you have laid out for him a crown of righteousness but not only to him, but to all those who love god's appearing. Now part of a great mighty cloud of witnesses is he, these are they who have gone through the great tribulation, they washed their robes in the blood of the lamb. [2:29:05 PM] The angels rejoice because he has been vindicated by history. His deeds etched into eternity and his soul received into your glory in the name of the god who loves us and to freedom and frees us into loving, through Jesus Christ our lord we pray, amen. >> Raphael Warnock with the benediction was indeed a grand look for a great man. John Lewis celebrated at ebenezer Baptist church with [2:30:05 PM] family, friends, three American presidents. >> We pray that today was a memorable worship experience for all of you. Now pastor Warnock will greet the family along with reverend Dr. Bernice king and follow the department of defense's instructions as they carry out our representative Lewis. >> Joined by our team at ABC. Robin Roberts, we saw a little bit of everything about John Lewis today, the human being, the young man of courage, the politician, family man, great mentor to his staff and a [2:31:06 PM] ceremony filled with laughter, tears and, robin, not a little bit of politics. >> Yes, yes, as you would expect, George. When president Obama said that Jo Lewis, it wasn't just about changing laws, he was about changing hearts and minds and I was really struck when his deputy chief of staff, when she said that congressman Lewis could find compromise without compromising his values and his beliefs and that's something that I think permeated throughout the celebration of his life, that and the fact that he was a very humble man. >> Byron Pitts a celebration of his life and lesson in history today, the history of the modern civil rights movement. >> Yes, he symbolized that. [2:32:08 PM] Lewis said in 1955 he heard Dr. King on the radio for the first time and for the first time in his life he heard a sermon not about life and the after yonder but life now and a certainlien about social gospel as Dr. King called it and, George, I think in his last many days of tributes we've been reminded that John Lewis "Time" magazine called him a saint in 1975, a living saint. Today president Clinton said he was scripture. Isaiah 6:8. Here I am, lord, send me and these days of tributes remind us John Lewis was also a sermon. A good sermon touches your heart. It makes you laugh. It makes you think. It makes you feel better and also it encourages you to do better, to act better and I think in his 80 years on the Earth that's what John Lewis hoped to do, to help America do better. >> Linsey, his final message as [2:33:08 PM] well, go out and do the work, let freedom ring. >> I think it was a really prophetic moment we witnessed while president Obama was delivering the eulogy and saw about a dozen black children marching outside of the windows here in times square demanding change, doing it in a peaceful way, just the way John Lewis would have wanted it. And we saw that. We talked about this earlier on Sunday when we saw the body take that final trip over the bridge
Archived Unity File