A hearse carrying the flag-draped casket with the body of Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) stops in front of the Lincoln Memorial before heading to the U.S. Capitol where he will lie in state July 27, 2020 in Washington, DCImage copyright
Getty Images

The body of civil rights icon, Democratic Congressman John Lewis, will lie in state this week in the US Capitol rotunda.

Mr Lewis is the the first African-American lawmaker to receive one of the country’s highest honours.

The casket of civil rights pioneer John Lewis, who died July 17, drives on 16th Street, renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza, near the White House, in WashingtonImage copyright
Reuters

The tribute is reserved for American statesmen and military leaders, including twelve US presidents.

People watch as a hearse with the flag-draped casket of late Rep. John Lewis, (D-GA), drives by the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington, U.S., July 27, 2020Image copyright
Reuters

Lewis, the “Conscience of Congress”, died of pancreatic cancer aged 80 on 17 July.

A US. military honour guard carries the casket of civil rights pioneer John Lewis (D-GA), who died July 17, up the steps of the US CapitolImage copyright
Reuters

His funeral procession passed by several DC landmarks, including the Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr Memorials and Black Lives Matter Plaza – the site of Lewis’ last public appearance.

The casket carrying Congressman John Lewis arrives on the East Front of the US CapitolImage copyright
Reuters

Top Democrat, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, her Senate counterpart Republican Mitch McConnell and other US lawmakers attended an invitation-only ceremony for Lewis in the rotunda. Speaking at the ceremony for her long-time colleague, Ms Pelosi described Lewis as a “person of greatness”, who “committed his life to to advancing justice”.

The casket of US Representative from Georgia John Lewis arrives during a ceremony preceding the lying in state in the Rotunda of the US Capitol in Washington, DCImage copyright
EPA

The private ceremony will be followed by a public viewing held outdoors.

Lewis was a member of the House of Representatives from Georgia’s 5th District, an area which covered most of the state capital, Atlanta. He was one of the “Big Six” civil rights leaders, which included Martin Luther King Jr, and helped organise the historic 1963 March on Washington.

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