Remembering John Lewis

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12:40 p.m. ET, July 18, 2020

Pence says Lewis' "decades of public service changed America forever"

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images
Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence called Rep. John Lewis a “great man whose courage and decades of public service changed America forever.” 

“John Lewis will be remembered as a giant of the civil rights movement whose selflessness and conviction rendered our nation into a more perfect union and his example will inspire generations of Americans,” the statement reads.

Pence also discusses crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge with Lewis on the 45th anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

"While John Lewis will be rightly remembered as an icon of the civil rights movement, for me he was also a colleague and a friend. Even when we differed, John was always unfailingly kind and my family and I will never forget the privilege of crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge at his side on the 45th anniversary of Bloody Sunday," he said.

12:20 p.m. ET, July 18, 2020

Connecticut governor orders flags lowered to half-staff in honor of Lewis

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont directed US and state flags in the state to be lowered to half-staff to commemorate the late Rep. John Lewis.

"On behalf of the State of Connecticut, I thank Congressman Lewis for the decades of service he gave to our nation, and the impact he made throughout the entire country in the ongoing effort to bring positive change in the face of injustice. He leaves behind a legacy that will forever inspire us in immeasurable ways. He is an icon and a hero, and his passing is a terrible loss for our country," Lamont said in a statement.

Lewis, a Democrat who served as the US representative for Georgia's 5th congressional district for more than three decades, was considered a moral conscience of Congress because of his belief in a nonviolent fight for civil rights.

CNN's Faith Karimi contributed to this report.

11:30 a.m. ET, July 18, 2020

Politicians and former presidents honor John Lewis

Civil rights legend Rep. John Robert Lewis died Friday after a battle with cancer. He was 80.

Lewis, a Democrat, served as the US representative for Georgia's 5th congressional district for more than three decades.

World leaders, former US presidents, politicians and celebrities paid tribute to Lewis' life.

Here's what some of them have said:

  • Former President Barack Obama: "Not many of us get to live to see our own legacy play out in such a meaningful, remarkable way. John Lewis did. And thanks to him, we now all have our marching orders — to keep believing in the possibility of remaking this country we love until it lives up to its full promise."
  • Former President George W. Bush: “America can best honor John’s memory by continuing his journey toward liberty and justice for all."
  • Former President Bill Clinton: "John Lewis gave all he had to redeem America's unmet promise of equality and justice for all, and to create a place for us to build a more perfect union together. In so doing he became the conscience of the nation."
  • Former President Jimmy Carter: "John never shied away from what he called 'good trouble' to lead our nation on the path toward human and civil rights. Everything he did, he did in a spirit of love."
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: "Today, America mourns the loss of one of the greatest heroes of American history: Congressman John Lewis, the Conscience of the Congress."
  • House Majority Whip James Clyburn: "The country lost a hero last night, the movement lost an icon, and I lost a personal friend."
  • The Rev. Jesse Jackson: "John Lewis is what patriotism and courage look like. He sacrificed and personifies a New Testament prophet."
  • French President Emmanuel Macron: "A lifetime of struggle for civil rights. A lifetime of getting into 'good trouble,' of fighting for a world that is more just. A true hero. Indeed, 'because of you, John.'" 
  • Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms: "The most humble of heroes, the most brave of giants. @repjohnlewis loved unconditionally and called upon us all to be a better version of ourselves. He was my Congressman and my best example of true servant leadership. I am grateful for his life and the joy of having known him."
  • Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp: "Congressman John Lewis was a Civil Rights hero, freedom fighter, devoted public servant, and beloved Georgian who changed our world in a profound way. #RIPJohnLewis."
  • Director Ava DuVernay: "Will never forget what you taught me and what you challenged me to be. Better. Stronger. Bolder. Braver."

11:26 a.m. ET, July 18, 2020

Trump orders flags be flown at half-staff in honor of John Lewis

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

President Trump has issued a proclamation ordering the flag at the White House and other federal buildings to be flown at half-staff for the rest of today in honor of John Lewis.

“As a mark of respect for the memory and longstanding public service of Representative John Lewis, of Georgia, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions through July 18, 2020,” the proclamation reads.

Outside of that first sentence, there is no statement from the President about the life and service of Lewis.

11:19 a.m. ET, July 18, 2020

"America has lost not only a man of history, but a man for our season," GOP senator says

From CNN's Nicky Robertson

Mario Tama/Getty Images
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney, a Republican from Utah, tweeted Saturday on the death of Rep. John Lewis calling the civil rights icon “a man of history” and a “man for our season.”

O how we need such men of unwavering principle, unassailable character, penetrating purpose, and heartfelt compassion,” Romney tweeted.

11:14 a.m. ET, July 18, 2020

Joe Biden says Lewis was "truly one-of-a-kind, a moral compass"

From CNN's Liz Turrell

Vice President Joe Biden walks with Rep. John Lewis across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, in March 2013.
Vice President Joe Biden walks with Rep. John Lewis across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, in March 2013. Dave Martin/AP

Former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, described civil rights legend Rep. John Lewis as "one-of-a-kind" and a "moral compass" in a statement today.

"John’s life reminds us that the most powerful symbol of what it means to be an American is what we do with the time we have to make real the promise of our nation – that we are all created equal and deserve to be treated equally. Through the beatings, the marches, the arrests, the debates on war, peace, and freedom, and the legislative fights for good jobs and health care and the fundamental right to vote, he taught us that while the journey toward equality is not easy, we must be unafraid and never cower and never, ever give up," the Bidens said.

The Bidens recalled their final conversation with Lewis “a few days ago,” saying “his voice still commanded respect and his laugh was still full of joy."

"Instead of answering our concerns for him, he asked about us. He asked us to stay focused on the work left undone to heal this nation," they said.

10:46 a.m. ET, July 18, 2020

White House press secretary: Lewis "leaves an enduring legacy that will never be forgotten"

From CNN's Allison Gordon

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted Saturday that the death of Rep. John Lewis “leaves an enduring legacy that will never be forgotten.”

“We hold his family in our prayers, as we remember Rep. John Lewis’ incredible contributions to our country,” McEnany said.

President Trump has not yet commented or tweeted on Lewis' death.

11:12 a.m. ET, July 18, 2020

Hillary Clinton: "John Lewis was the truest kind of patriot"

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

Rep. John Lewis campaigns for Hillary Clinton in Las Vegas in 2016.
Rep. John Lewis campaigns for Hillary Clinton in Las Vegas in 2016. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis “the truest kind of patriot.”

“He believed America could be better, even live up to its highest founding ideals of equality & liberty for all,” Clinton tweeted.

11:07 a.m. ET, July 18, 2020

Former President George W. Bush: Lewis "worked to make our country a more perfect union"

From CNN's Allison Gordon

Rep. John Lewis stands with President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, in March 2015.
Rep. John Lewis stands with President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, in March 2015. Gerald Herbert/AP

Former President George W. Bush issued a statement Saturday on the death of Rep. John Lewis saying the civil rights icon “worked to make our country a more perfect union.”

“America can best honor John’s memory by continuing his journey toward liberty and justice for all,” Bush wrote.

Read his full statement:

"Laura and I join our fellow Americans in mourning the loss of Congressman John Lewis. As a young man marching for equality in Selma, Alabama, John answered brutal violence with courageous hope. And throughout his career as a civil rights leader and public servant, he worked to make our country a more perfect union. America can best honor John's memory by continuing his journey toward liberty and justice for all."