We lost John Lewis (D-Ga) tonight. I have no words to describe my sorrow or the loss we suffered.

So this article will be short.

Lewis passed after a short but intense battle with pancreatic cancer.

He stepped up to join other civil rights leaders in 1961, when he was one of the first Freedom Riders. In 1963, he spoke at the March on Washington. In 1965, he was savagely beaten by racists during a march in Selma, Alabama.

His SNCC colleague, Courtland Cox, said of Rep. Lewis:

In the face of what John considered the evils of segregation, he was fearless.

He served in Congress for decades, consistently fighting for the rights of African-Americans and for democracy as a whole. He fought for right and justice for every human being everywhere. He was among the best America has to offer.

I lack the heart to write more. Let some of our best speak instead.

From 2015:

And from Rep. Lewis himself:

Godspeed, sir. You have all the love in our hearts and your family and friends have our prayers and our well wishes.


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  1. In accounting you treat a business as a going concern until it is in some sort of liquidation. Democracy is like that. It is dynamic and has to be tended to constantly. It is like he says, a struggle of a life time.

    So sorry to see Mr. Lewis go. Hope we see lots more Mr. Lewis’s in this generation.

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  4. Earlier this morning I wrote this in response to VetWife over on DK.

    Waking up to this gut-punching news my first thought was that not just our country but the world is a lesser place now that the light John Lewis brought to us has been extinguished. There are times ahead when I will yearn for the chance to see him standing up with fierce determination of justice for all. For all. I know I’m not the only one. John Lewis knew how, as few can do to bring the thunder when the moment demanded it yet at heart was I believe as humble a person as one can be.

    I came to idolize RFK growing up, and this morning feel the same kind of devastation as when he succumbed to his wounds and died. I followed the subsequent events including the committal service at his gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery and I think what his brother Ted said at the end about how his brother should be remembered applies equally to Lewis: “He should be remembered as a good and decent man who saw wrong and tried to right it; saw suffering and tried to heal it; saw war and tried to stop it.” John Lewis devoted his life to fighting the war so many have declared on justice for all, and the ability of all to exercise the full rights of citizenship in this country equally. During the height of the civil rights struggles I saw growing up he risked his life again and again, and only luck in the form of an Alabama state (storm) trooper not realizing just how tough John Lewis was kept him from being beaten to death on the still ill-named Edmund Pettis bridge. As a veteran I try to make it clear there are more ways to serve than in a military uniform and that countless people serve our country and literally stand into danger who are not, or ever have worn a uniform. John Lewis’ actions when he was standing into danger trying to bring voting and civil rights to all is a shining example of that fact.

    John Lewis has fought his fight. He has run his race. Much as we will need to hear his voice speaking out, with thunder even (and sometimes it will be called for) anew in the months and years ahead we will be denied. At least we have the benefit of so many decades of his words and actions to replay and cite and every bit of it will be needed. He gave us so much, and we will need it moving forward. John Lewis left us a legacy that if we have the wisdom to do so can be utilized to continue to lead us. He is gone, but he left us a great deal and if we wish to honor him then we must take what he has given us and use it the way he would have if he were still able to raise that wondrous voice to address future moments where conscience needs to be challenged. I quoted Ted Kennedy earlier, but I’d like to think Mr. Lewis would approve of me quoting someone else as I conclude this. Like I figure was the case for every kid in Illinois at least way back when I was in school I was required to memorize the Gettysburg Address. In fact, in fourth grade I had a teacher who required each of us to cite it in front of the entire class and be graded on our ability to get it right — the equivalent of a written test.

    To honor John Lewis there is a part of Lincoln’s speech that seems particularly relevant:

    It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us…

    John Lewis believed in justice and equality for all to the point he repeatedly looked danger of physical harm and even death squarely in the eye and rode or marched towards it. We owe it to him to carry on that work he so nobly advanced and dedicate ourselves to the great task (still) remaining before us.

    Damn. I’m going to miss him. The tears have started again so I have to stop now.

    Semper Fidelis John Lewis

    She responded with a song I remember well from back when I was young, and I think it’s one of the most appropriate tributes to Lewis one could imagine:

  5. The good ones pass to soon. We need to remember to catch the spirit of the good ones as they pass by. We are here for a fleeting moment in time. We need to make an impression while we are for others to follow. R.I.P. ??

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