Atlanta holds funeral service for late US congressman John Lewis

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Atlanta holds funeral service for late US congressman John Lewis
Washington:  A funeral service for the late US congressman John Lewis was held in Atlanta, southeastern state of Georgia.

On Thursday people gathered at a church in Atlanta for a “celebration of life” honoring Lewis, a national civil rights icon, Xinhua news agency reported.

Former US presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama were among those attending the event.

Obama delivered a eulogy, calling Lewis “a man of pure joy and unbreakable perseverance.”

After the service, Lewis was buried at South-View Cemetery, just south of downtown Atlanta.

Lewis, who had fought for voting rights throughout his 33 years in Congress, died earlier this month at age 80 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Earlier this week, the Georgia Democrat became the first African American lawmaker in the nation’s history to lie in state beneath the Capitol Rotunda, the central rotunda of US Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Born into a family of sharecroppers in 1940, Lewis was hailed for his leadership in the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

A founder and early leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Lewis led protests against racial injustice in an era in which apartheid was still rampant in the American South.

He was the youngest and longest surviving speaker at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom movement, which culminated in Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

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