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John Lewis to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge one final time on Sunday

On Sunday, the funeral procession for the late Congressman will carry him once again over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.

ATLANTA — John Lewis' journey to eternal rest will begin - in part - in one of the pivotal places where his legacy as a crusader for civil rights started.

On Sunday, the funeral procession for the late Congressman will carry him once again over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. 

But, instead of being met with billy clubs and police dogs on his journey to Montgomery, Lewis will this time be escorted by an honor guard to the Alabama State Capitol, where he will lay in state in high honor.

RELATED: Life of John Lewis to be celebrated over 6 days of ceremonies

It's one final crossing of that bridge for Lewis - a fateful expanse that carried the struggle for freedom, equality, and justice into the future, now one that carries the civil right's hero toward his final resting place.

Lewis first made the trek across the bridge - named for a Confederate general who became a U.S. senator and leader in the Ku Klux Klan - back on March 7, 1965, when he and other prominent civil rights activists led a crowd of hundreds on a march from Selma to Montgomery.

RELATED: Efforts growing to rename Edmund Pettus Bridge for John Lewis

The protest was designed to be a 54-mile peaceful demonstration to the capitol to call for voting rights and push for justice for Black Americans. But they were met by Alabama state troopers who attacked the marchers - Lewis included - with their nightsticks in what would become to be known as "Bloody Sunday." 

**ADVANCE FOR SUNDAY, MARCH 6 -- FILE ** Alabama state troopers swing nightsticks to break up a civil rights voting march in Selma, Ala., March 7, 1965. As several hundred marchers crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge to begin a protest march to Montgomery, state troopers assaulted the crowd with clubs and whips. Dozens of congressional delegates and thousands of others are to re-enact the march on Sunday, March 6, 2005. (AP Photo/File) ORG XMIT: WXS615

The televised attack left Lewis, just 25 years old at the time, with a fractured skull and scores of other marchers equally bloodied. But the event, broadcast into the homes of Americans nationwide, would galvanize the civil rights movement and sway the nation's sympathy toward the plight of Black Americans.

Lewis would cross the bridge other times, like in 1990 for the 25th anniversary. He did so again publicly in 2015, to mark the 50 years since Bloody Sunday. This time, at the side of President Barack Obama, the United States' first Black president - a reality Lewis' life work helped create. 

RELATED: President Obama says John Lewis left us his 'marching orders'

Now, Lewis will cross the bridge one final time in his death, a poignant moment in time for a nation still fighting to bring Lewis' vision to fruition.


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