A humbled John Lewis thanks Atlanta after road renamed in his honor

ATLANTA — A civil rights icon received another honor as city leaders were on hand Wednesday to rename part of Freedom Parkway in honor of Rep. John Lewis.

The congressman, a Democrat, who represents Georgia's 5th Congressional District, told Channel 2's Dave Huddleston that he couldn't have been more humbled with this honor.

“It's very moving," Lewis said as the new sign for the John Lewis Freedom Parkway was unveiled Wednesday afternoon.

The event was also the first time Lewis made a public appearance in Atlanta following a health scare in July in which he was escorted off a plane and hospitalized.

Without disclosing what happened and looking a little thinner than usual, he told Huddleston that he is OK.

"I feel well," Lewis said. “I feel good."

Hundreds of people were on hand for the renaming of Freedom Parkway in honor of the civil rights icon.


Channel 2 Action News broke the story in July 2017 that City Councilman Andre Dickens was the driving force behind the street renaming.

“It is only befitting,” Dickens said Wednesday.

“I want to thank the people of Atlanta and the people of the 5th Congressional District of Georgia for believing in me and never, ever giving up on me,” Lewis told the crowd.

The adjoining park was also renamed after Lewis.

Along the sidewalk, a plaza has been created for children to see where a young John Lewis rode a Freedom Riders bus through the South to register voters.

He took a moment to do the same thing Wednesday, encouraging young people to get involved with changing the world.

“We've come too far. We’ve made too much progress and we’re not going back. We are going forward," Lewis said.

Lewis encouraged people to vote.

He didn't mention any candidates by name but said he was hoping we could ride a blue wave come November.

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