One year later: Congressman John Lewis remembered in metro Atlanta

One year ago today, Atlanta and the world lost civil rights icon and long-serving Congressman John Lewis. Lewis died at the age of 80 in part after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

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Events honoring Lewis were held throughout Atlanta and around the country Saturday.

On Saturday night, several advocacy groups hosted a “Good Trouble” Candlelight Vigil at 616 Joseph E. Boone Blvd. There were vigils also held in Augusta and Savannah Saturday as well.

Earlier Saturday, the U.S. Navy christened their newest refueling ship, the USNS John Lewis Saturday morning in a ceremony attended by Speaker of House Nancy Pelosi of California and some 27 members of Congress.

The USNS John Lewis is the lead ship of the T-AO Fleet Oiler Program, which transfers fuel to the Navy’s carrier strike groups operating at sea.

“John Lewis was a true warrior for freedom, who helped transform America with his unrivaled courage, patriotism and goodness. It is fitting that, one year after his passing, so many of John’s friends will gather this weekend to celebrate his saintly life and to christen a naval ship bearing his name, a beautiful testament to his legacy as one of the greatest heroes of American history,“ Speaker Pelosi said at the ceremony. “As the USNS John Lewis sets sail across the sea in service to our nation, may this beautiful ship be a beacon of strength and inspiration as we carry on John’s life mission: to pursue a more perfect union.


In Atlanta, the weekend began with a bike/cycling event that starts at 8:30 a.m. on Pryor Street. Riders will wind through downtown, stopping at the entrance of the South View Cemetery where Lewis is buried before heading towards the Lewis mural on Auburn Avenue.

Later Saturday morning there was a balloon release at the site of the mural with several speakers talking about Lewis and his legacy in civil rights and voting rights.

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