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Here and elsewhere, civil rights icon John Lewis remembered

The late Congressman John Lewis is remembered at an Augusta vigil on July 17, 2021.
The late Congressman John Lewis is remembered at an Augusta vigil on July 17, 2021.(WRDW)
Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 8:20 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - It’s been one year since civil rights activist and Georgia Congressman John Lewis passed away.

But the fight he started for equal voting rights is keeping his legacy moving forward.

Here at home, his legacy was honored with a candlelight vigil at the Augusta Common.

Events were also held across the country, with a freedom ride in Atlanta and a march for voting rights in Tennessee.

People who worked with Lewis say his impact on our country will continue to be felt for generations.

“His kindness, his generosity is something that is unparalleled in most of the people that I’ve ever had the opportunity to meet or to work with,” said Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock.

A vigil in Augusta on July 17, 2021, marked the one-year anniversary of the death of John Lewis.
A vigil in Augusta on July 17, 2021, marked the one-year anniversary of the death of John Lewis.(WRDW)

“I was honored to serve as John Lewis’s pastor. But make no mistake, I was the pastor, but he was the mentor. He inspired me not only by his words, but most importantly, by his example.”

Georgia U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter said: “From his early days in Nashville fighting segregation in the Freedom Rides to servicing Congress, John Lewis set a great example for all of us. He was my friend, we walked together from the Canon office building over to the Capitol and whereas he never called me by name, he always referred to me as friend.”

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are both marking the one-year anniversary of the death U.S. Rep. John Lewis by urging Congress to enact laws to protect voting rights.

They said Saturday that doing so would honor the legacy of the civil rights icon. Harris called Lewis “an American hero.”

Congressional Democrats are pushing two bills they say would strengthen access to the ballot. One is the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. It would restore sections of the Voting Rights Act that were weakened by the Supreme Court.

Republicans say the bills are an overreach of federal power into states’ ability to conduct elections.

Right now, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act is stalled in the Senate, but Democratic senators say they will keep pushing until they get election reform.

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