The Evening Standard

Barack Obama hails ‘unbreakable perseverance’ of civil rights campaigner John Lewis at funeral

July 31, 2020

Barack Obama paid tribute to John Lewis as a "man of pure joy" at the civil rights campaigner's funeral in Atlanta.

The Georgia congressman was the youngest and last survivor of the Big Six civil rights activists, a group led by Martin Luther King Jr. He died on July 17. 

Three former presidents including Mr Obama joined in the eulogies after nearly a week of mourning that took him from his birthplace in Alabama to the nation’s capital of Washington to his final resting place in his home of Atlanta.

“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.”

Former president George W Bush said Mr Lewis preached the Gospel and lived its ideals, “insisting that hate and fear had to be answered with love and hope”.

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