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Moving Photos Show John Lewis Being Carried Over The Edmund Pettus Bridge For The Last Time

Over a scattering of rose petals, the casket of the civil rights leader was carried across the bridge where he was beaten by state troopers during a historic march for voting rights in 1965.

Posted on July 26, 2020, at 2:34 p.m. ET

John Bazemore / AP

The casket of Rep. John Lewis moves over the Edmund Pettus Bridge by horse-drawn carriage during a memorial service for Lewis in Selma, July 26.

The body of Georgia Rep. John Lewis on Sunday crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, where he was beaten by state troopers 55 years ago as he helped lead a historic march for voting rights.

The casket of the revered civil rights icon was transported across the bridge in a horse-drawn carriage over a scattering of rose petals as part of a six-day memorial tribute to honor Lewis, who died on July 17 after having pancreatic cancer. He was 80.

On March 7, 1965, Lewis, then 25, helped to lead around 600 civil rights activists across the Edmund Pettus Bridge as part of a historic protest march from Selma to Montgomery in demand of full voting rights for Black Americans.

Alabama state troopers, using clubs and tear gas, beat up hundreds of civil rights activists during the march. Lewis suffered a fractured skull, among other injuries, during what came to be known as "Bloody Sunday."

Rep. John Lewis’ casket travels over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, where he was beaten while marching for voting rights 55 years ago.

In later years, Lewis led an annual march across the bridge with current and former presidents from both parties. On the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, Lewis crossed the bridge with Barack Obama, the country's first Black president.

Following his death, there have been renewed calls to rename the bridge after Lewis. It is currently named after a Confederate general and Klu Klux Klan member.

The six-day celebration to honor Lewis's legacy comes amid nationwide protests against police brutality after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

On Sunday, crowds of people in Selma paid their respects as the carriage carrying Lewis's body crossed the bridge strewn with rose petals in what organizers called "The Final Crossing."

"Crossing one more time today," wrote Bernice King, the daughter of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., on Twitter. "Thank you, Uncle John."

Brynn Anderson / AP

A man places flower petals on the Edmund Pettus Bridge ahead of Rep. John Lewis's casket crossing during a memorial service on Sunday.

Michael M Santiago / Getty Images

The horse-drawn carriage carrying the body of Lewis prepares to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge, July 26.

Michael M Santiago / Getty Images

Helen McRand and her husband, Willie, await the funeral procession of Lewis in Selma.

Michael M. Santiago / Getty Images

The casket of Lewis crosses the bridge.

John Bazemore / AP

The casket of Lewis crosses the bridge.

Brynn Anderson / AP

Mourners watch the casket of Rep. John Lewis move over the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

Brynn Anderson / AP

Military pallbearers prepare to place the body of Lewis into a hearse after it was carried across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

Brynn Anderson / AP

An Alabama state trooper salutes as the casket of Rep. John Lewis moves across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

Lynsey Weatherspoon / Getty Images

The body of Lewis is placed into a hearse after it was carried across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.


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