Celebration of Life events to be held in memory of John Lewis

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ATLANTA (AP) — The funeral for the late civil rights icon and congressman John Lewis will be held next Thursday at Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, which the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once led.

Lewis’ family announced that the funeral will be private, but the public is invited to pay tribute over the coming days during a series of celebrations of Lewis’ life beginning Saturday in his hometown of Troy, Alabama. On Sunday morning, a processional will be held in which Lewis’ body will once more cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where he and other voting rights demonstrators were beaten 55 years ago on “Bloody Sunday.”

Lewis’ body will also lie in state at the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery, the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta and the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

A military honor guard will accompany Congressman Lewis throughout the events, including when he crosses the Edmund Pettus Bridge and while he lies in state in Montgomery, Alabama; Washington, D.C.; and Atlanta, Georgia.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Thursday that the public will be allowed to pay their respects in Washington to the longtime Georgia congressman Monday night and all day Tuesday.

Due to coronavirus precautions, Lewis will lie in state for public viewing at the top of the east front steps of the Capitol rather than in the Rotunda, and the public will file past on the East Plaza. Face masks will be required and social distancing will be enforced.

Lewis’ family has asked members of the public not to travel from across the country to pay their respects. Instead, they suggested people pay virtual tribute online using the hashtags #BelovedCommunity or #HumanDignity.

Lewis, 80, died last Friday, several months after he was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer. He served 17 terms in the U.S. House. Following the funeral at the Ebenezer Baptist Church Horizon Sanctuary, he will be interred at South View Cemetery in Atlanta.

Schedule of Events

  • A Service Celebrating “The Boy from Troy”
    • Saturday, July 25
    • Troy, Ala and Selma, Ala
    • Trojan Arena, Troy University
    • 10:00 am – 11:00 am
    • Open to the public as space permits. The family asks attendees to wear face and
      mouth coverings.
  • Congressman Lewis Lies in Repose
    • Trojan Arena, Troy University
    • 11:00 am – 2 pm
    • Open to the public. The family asks attendees to wear face and mouth coverings.
  • Selma Salutes Congressman John Lewis
    • Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church
    • 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
    • Open press outside the church.
  • Congressman Lewis Lies in Repose
    • Brown Chapel A.ME. Church
    • 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
    • Open to the public. The family asks attendees to wear face and mouth coverings.
  • “#Good Trouble: Courage, Sacrifice & the Long March for Freedom”
    • Sunday, July 26
    • Selma, Ala and Montgomery, Ala
  • The Final Crossing
    • Edmund Pettus Bridge
    • 10:00 am
    • The public is invited to view the processional as it travels from Brown Chapel to the
      Edmund Pettus Bridge. The family kindly asks attendees to wear face and mouth coverings.
  • Receiving Ceremony
    • Front Entrance Hall, Alabama State Capitol
    • 2:00 pm
  • Congressman Lewis Lies in State
    • Alabama State Capitol
    • 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm
    • Open to the public. The family asks attendees to wear face and mouth coverings.
  • “The Conscience of the Congress”
    • Washington, D.C.
    • Monday, July 27 and Tuesday, July 28
  • Special Ceremony Proceeding the Lying in State
    • Rotunda, United States Capitol
    • Mon., July 27, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
  • Congressman Lewis Lies in State
    • United States Capitol
    • Mon., July 27, 3:00 pm – 10:00 pm
    • Open to the public. The family kindly asks attendees to wear face and mouth coverings.
  • Lying in State
    • United States Capitol
    • Tues., July 28, 8:00 am – 10:00 pm
    • Open to the public. The family asks attendees to wear face and mouth coverings.
  • “Atlanta’s Servant Leader”
    • Atlanta, Ga.
    • Wednesday, July 29
  • Special Ceremony Proceeding the Lying in State
    • Rotunda, Georgia State Capitol
    • 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
  • Congress Lewis Lies in State
    • Rotunda, Georgia State Capitol
    • 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm        
    • 8:00 pm – 8:00 am
    • Open to the public. The family asks attendees to wear face and mouth coverings.
  • Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Omega Service
    • Rotunda, Georgia State Capitol
    • 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • “A Lifetime of Service”
    • Atlanta, Ga
    • Thursday, July 30
  • A Celebration of Life
    • Ebenezer Baptist Church Horizon Sanctuary
    • 11:00 am
  • Internment
    • South-View Cemetery

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