WASHINGTON (AP) — The House on Monday stood for an emotional moment of silence for Georgia Rep. John Lewis, the civil rights icon who died last week from pancreatic cancer.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi gaveled the House to order, calling on “all who loved John Lewis, wherever you are, rise in a moment of silence in remembrance of the conscience of the Congress.”
Several people on the dais wept as the House stood in silence, heads bowed. When Pelosi tried to move on, those gathered interrupted with sustained applause.
“Our hero, our colleague, our brother, our friend received and answered his final summons from God almighty,” said Rep. Sanford Bishop, the dean of the Georgia delegation.
Lewis, 80, died Friday, several months after he was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer. The son of sharecroppers, Lewis survived a brutal police beating during a 1965 civil rights march in Selma, Alabama. He represented Georgia in the House since 1987, and was known for his kindness and humility.