John Lewis has crossed over the final bridge. The last of the "Big Six" civil rights leaders is gone. If courage had a name, it was his, and he leaves us at a time when the stakes of all he struggled for could not be higher. For John Lewis, voting was sacramental, and he shed his blood for us to exercise this most fundamental of rights. Forevermore, generations, starting with this one, will honor him by casting their ballots, a secular communion meant to strengthen our democracy. His roar as 'the conscience of the Congress' will echo down through history. Few who ever lived have done more to inspire change. "His truth goes marching on."
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., July 18, 2020