The tributes are pouring in for John Lewis. The 80-year-old Civil Rights hero lost his battle with cancer on Friday. Barack Obama, who awarded Lewis the Medal of Freedom in 2011 wrote a post on Medium dedicated to the Congressman that says, in part:
“He loved this country so much that he risked his life and his blood so that it might live up to its promise. And through the decades, he not only gave all of himself to the cause of freedom and justice, but inspired generations that followed to try to live up to his example…”
“Not many of us get to live to see our own legacy play out in such a meaningful, remarkable way. John Lewis did. And thanks to him, we now all have our marching orders — to keep believing in the possibility of remaking this country we love until it lives up to its full promise.”
Joe Biden remarked:
Today, we lost a giant of the civil rights movement and a relentless champion in the struggle for justice. Reverend C.T. Vivian never stopped pushing our nation closer to our highest ideals — and we are better because of it. Jill and I are keeping his loved ones in our prayers.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) wrote:
“Every day of John Lewis’s life was dedicated to bringing freedom and justice to all. As he declared 57 years ago during the March on Washington, standing in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial: ‘Our minds, souls, and hearts cannot rest until freedom and justice exist for all the people.’ How fitting it is that even in the last weeks of his battle with cancer, John summoned the strength to visit the peaceful protests where the newest generation of Americans had poured into the streets to take up the unfinished work of racial justice. His visit with Mayor Bowser, the Mayor of Washington, painted an iconic picture of justice.”
Rep. John Lewis has passed. It is not enough to say he was a revered civil rights icon. He was a man of impeccable integrity who dedicated his life to fighting against racism, discrimination & injustice. John was a true leader who inspired us all to have the courage to fight.
— Maxine Waters (@RepMaxineWaters) July 18, 2020
Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) shared these thoughts:
“It was an honor to once again join Congressman Lewis this year in Selma, Alabama in March for what would be his final walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where just 55 years ago, Lewis was among those beaten by state troopers as they bravely marched from Selma to Montgomery for the right to vote. I was moved by his words: ‘On this bridge, some of us gave a little blood to help redeem the soul of America. Our country is a better country. We are a better people, but we have still a distance to travel to go before we get there.’
We are grateful that John Lewis never lost sight of how great our country can be. He carried the baton of progress and justice to the very end. It now falls on us to pick it up and march on. We must never give up, never give in, and keep the faith.”
House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) posted this emotional tribute to his colleague and friend this morning.
The country lost a hero last night. The movement lost an icon. And I lost a personal friend.
But I do believe that as the sun set on John Lewis’s life last night, the sun rises on a movement that will never die. Thank you, John, rest in peace my brother. pic.twitter.com/t4C4qBYWrp
— James E. Clyburn (@WhipClyburn) July 18, 2020
Many people say Lewis was loved on both sides of the aisle and that’s evidenced in the remarks from several Republicans.
John Lewis was an extraordinary man—a patriot in the truest sense. And he was my friend.
One of the greatest honors of my life was to join him for multiple trips to Selma to march across the bridge. His life and legacy as a congressman and civil rights icon will endure. pic.twitter.com/F1Pe5qS47N
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) July 18, 2020
My statement on the passing of Congressman John Lewis: pic.twitter.com/sFuU8cqPc8
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) July 18, 2020
Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) wrote:
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of my good friend, @repjohnlewis. I’m grateful for his encouragement during my tenure in Congress. He welcomed me with open arms when I came to the House in 2011.”
With the passing of John Lewis, America has lost not only a man of history, but a man for our season; O how we need such men of unwavering principle, unassailable character, penetrating purpose, and heartfelt compassion.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) July 18, 2020
John Lewis was a legend of the civil rights movement who never stopped fighting for equality and justice for all, even in his final days. America is a more perfect union because of the blood, sweat, and tears he sacrificed. I was proud to call him a friend. pic.twitter.com/56YvUYXS3G
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) July 18, 2020
No comment yet from Donald Trump or the White House.