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Late Congressman John Lewis, "conscience of Congress," departs Washington for final time

"Conscience" of the Congress remembered
Civil rights and congressional icon John Lewis remembered as the "conscience" of the Congress 03:38

Washington — Congressman John Lewis, the civil rights icon who died this month at the age of 80, departed Washington, D.C., for the final time Wednesday after congressional leaders, political notables and members of the public visited the U.S. Capitol to bid good-bye to the man known as the "conscience of Congress."

Lawmakers gathered Wednesday morning for a brief ceremony before a military honor guard brought Lewis' casket down the steps of the U.S. Capitol, marking the congressman's final journey from the institution where he served 33 years.

Lewis and his family then traveled from Washington to his adopted home of Atlanta, Georgia, where he spent his political career. The late congressman will be brought to the Georgia State Capitol for a ceremony and public viewing before his funeral at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on Thursday.

The funeral and burial Thursday mark the close of a days-long celebration of Lewis' life and legacy as an icon of the civil rights movement. A service was held Saturday in his hometown of Troy, Alabama, honoring his lifelong fight for civil rights. He then made his final trip across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma on Sunday, the same bridge where he was beaten by Alabama state troopers police during the march to Montgomery on March 7, 1965, which became known as "Bloody Sunday."

Civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis crosses Edmund Pettus Bridge one final time 04:45

Lewis was brought to Washington on Monday, and a funeral procession bound for the U.S. Capitol brought the congressman's casket past landmarks including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Lincoln Memorial and Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House.

The longtime congressman is the first Black lawmaker to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda, and congressional leaders paid tribute to Lewis' life and legacy in a ceremony Monday afternoon. 

In two days of public viewings at the Capitol, a number of public figures paid respects to Lewis, including Vice President Mike Pence, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Mr. Trump did not visit the Capitol to honor Lewis. 

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