House will observe moment of silence for late Rep. John Lewis, Pelosi says

House will observe moment of silence for late Rep. John Lewis, Pelosi says

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday announced that the House of Representatives will hold a moment of silence in honor of the late congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis, who died on Friday.

Pelosi, D-Calif., in a “Dear Colleague” letter, also announced that the Georgia House delegation will be introducing a “bereavement resolution” for Lewis, whose legacy is being honored from every corner of American politics.

“We are all deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague,” Pelosi said in a statement along with the note about the moment of silence. “All of us who served with John know that he always worked on the side of the angels. Now he is with them. May he rest in peace.”


Lewis, a Democrat from Georgia, has been a giant of the American civil rights movement since the 1960s when he marched with Martin Luther King, Jr., and addressed the famed March on Washington from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. He died after a six-month battle with pancreatic cancer.

Lewis was the son of Alabama sharecroppers and engaged in decades of activism before being elected to Congress in 1987 and living to see the first black president when Barack Obama was inaugurated in 2009.

“When we were organizing voter-registration drives, going on the Freedom Rides, sitting in, coming here to Washington for the first time, getting arrested, going to jail, being beaten, I never thought — I never dreamed — of the possibility that an African American would one day be elected president of the United States,” Lewis wrote shortly before Obama assumed office.


Pelosi, in her note, also mentioned that Lewis’ family will wait until after the funeral services for Rev. C.T. Vivian, also a prominent civil rights activist who died Friday, to announce how they will honor Lewis. She added that the services for Lewis will be affected by the coronavirus.

“He was the sermon that he preached. He did what he said he would do and inspired others to do likewise,” Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, said of Lewis in remarks on the House floor ahead of the moment of silence. Green also said that he had gone to jail after getting in “good trouble” with Lewis, getting arrested while protesting on multiple occasions, and asked that the House pass a reaffirmation of the Voting Rights Act.

Georgia Democrats are currently under a time-crunch to decide who will fill the shoes of the civil rights giant. There is a deadline of 4 p.m. on July 20, 2020, for the party to decide which of the 131 applicants to fill Lewis’ seat will appear on the ballot in November.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram and Kelly Phares contributed to this report. 

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