Nancy Pelosi Issues Statement On John Lewis Death

As tweets and messages pour in about the passing  of Congressman John Lewis, who passed away on Friday (July 17) of pancreatic cancer, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has issued a statement in memory of the late civil rights icon.

RELATED: New Doc ‘John Lewis: Good Trouble’ Celebrates The Living Icon And His Passion For Social Justice

Pelosi hailed Rep. Lewis as the “conscience of the Congress” and spoke of his historical contributions to the Civil Rights movement, his work to fight voter suppression and other contributions from his life in public service and activism.

Read her full statement below:

“Today, America mourns the loss of one of the greatest heroes of American history: Congressman John Lewis, the Conscience of the Congress.  

“John Lewis was a titan of the civil rights movement whose goodness, faith and bravery transformed our nation – from the determination with which he met discrimination at lunch counters and on Freedom Rides, to the courage he showed as a young man facing down violence and death on Edmund Pettus Bridge, to the moral leadership he brought to the Congress for more than 30 years.  

“In the halls of the Capitol, he was fearless in his pursuit of a more perfect union, whether through his Voter Empowerment Act to defend the ballot, his leadership on the Equality Act to end discrimination against LGBTQ Americans or his work as a Senior Member of the Ways and Means Committee to ensure that we invest in what we value as a nation. 

“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.

“In the Congress, John Lewis was revered and beloved on both sides of the aisle and both sides of the Capitol.  All of us were humbled to call Congressman Lewis a colleague, and are heartbroken by his passing.  May his memory be an inspiration that moves us all to, in the face of injustice, make ‘good trouble, necessary trouble.’

“God truly blessed America with the life and leadership of John Lewis.  May it be a comfort to his son John-Miles, his entire family, Michael Collins and his entire staff that so many mourn their loss and are praying for them at this sad time.”

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