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5 key quotes that sum up what made John Lewis such a legendary chief

The late icon of civil rights and longtime Georgia congressman laid the foundation in his actions and words. Here are some of the most memorable.

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July
27, 2020

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The country lost a civil rights giant last week when 17-year-old Georgia congressman and decades-long freedom fighter John Lewis succumbed to pancreatic cancer at the age of 80. Lewis, an ally of Martin Luther King Jr., marched with him over the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, Alabama in 1965 as part of a historic nationwide protest against racial injustice and inequality, his coffin was carried last weekend wrapped in the American flag and transported with a caissons drawn by horses. His body was then taken to Washington, DC, where it will remain in the U.S. Capitol until tomorrow, before being brought to Atlanta for the final funeral on Thursday.

The Alabama-born and bitter advocate for equality remained fair to the end and led a sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives in particular in 2016 to urge measures to control weapons. It is impossible to reduce Lewis' leadership to a substantial handful of quotes, be it written or spoken. But to pay tribute to an individual whose commitment to his beliefs has helped to get a fundamental wave of systemic change going, here are five feelings that are expressed throughout the late John Lewis' entire public life and a symbol of his meaning for fairness and its incessant calls to action.

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March in Washington, August 28, 1963

"We will march with the spirit of love and with the spirit of dignity that we have shown here today. Through the strength of our demands, our determination and our number, we will split the separated south into a thousand parts and put them together in the image of God and we have to say to democracy: "Wake up, America! Wake up! "Because we cannot stop and we will not and cannot be patient." (About Voices of Democracy)

"A group of people who helped us find our own courage in these communities were the native women, the matriarchal heads of so many of these households. We found again and again that it was these women – women and mothers in the Forties and 50s, hardworking, humorous, factual, incredibly resilient women who had carried such an unimaginable weight through their own lives and had gone through so much indescribable hell that there was nothing left on earth to be afraid of – who showed us the way to mobilize in the towns and communities in which they lived. Nobody was ready, eager and ready to get on the Freedom Riders Train in these little towns and farms than women. "

CARE 2015 National Conference, May 21, 2015

"When I grew up in rural Alabama, 50 miles from Montgomery, outside of a small town called Troy, I saw the signs that read" White Waiting, "" Color Waiting, "" White Men, "" Colored Men. "" White Women "," colored women ". I asked my mother, my father, my grandparents, my great grandparents:" Why? "And they said:" It is so. Does not disturb. Doesn't bother. "But I was inspired to get in my way and get into trouble." (Via CARE / YouTube)

Sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives, June 22, 2016

"We have lost hundreds and thousands of innocent people through gun violence … We have turned deaf ears to the blood of the innocent and the concern of our nation … Newtown, Aurora, Charleston, Orlando. What's the tip?" Point? … give us a vote! Let's vote! We came here to do our job. We came here to work. "(Via AP / YouTube)

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"We must never give up or give in or throw in the towel. We have to keep going! And be ready to do anything to educate people, motivate people, inspire people to stay engaged, to stay committed. We must continue to say that We are a people. We are a family. We all live in the same house. Not just an American house, but the world house. As Dr. King said over and over again: "We have to learn to live together as brothers and sisters. If not, we'll die as fools. "

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