Congressman John Lewis, the late civil rights leader and icon who died from pancreatic cancer last week, will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol next week. The announcement came on Thursday from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The Hill reports that an invitation-only arrival ceremony will take place on Monday at 1:30 p.m. The public will have an opportunity to pay their respects to the late U.S. Rep on Monday and Tuesday. Speaker Pelosi appeared on Joy Reid’s new show on Thursday and added that Lewis’ body would be placed at the Capitol’s front steps for the public viewing. A motorcade throughout the city is also expected.
Arrangements for Lewis’ homegoing services and his recognition at the Capitol have been altered due to the coronavirus pandemic. Mayor Muriel Bowser has also asked that those wishing to pay their final respects wear masks and practice social distancing. The family of the great leader who walked beside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has requested that people leave virtual tributes as oppose to traveling for the occasion.
“It’s a sad week for us because we lost John,” Pelosi told Reid. “I can’t talk about John Lewis without talking about fairness and decency, and that’s what we owe the American people. Their lives, their livelihood and the life of our democracy is at stake.”
Since Lewis’ passing, Democratic lawmakers have been making an earnest push to pass the HEROES Act, as it was a bill he fought for up until his death. “We hope that as an honor to John Lewis, in this bill we will have the money to do our vote-by-mail, our vote-at-home provisions with, again, the opportunity for many more people to have obstacles removed as they vote in a way that they don’t have to choose between their health and their vote,” Pelosi said. “I think that would be an appropriate way for us right in the here and now to honor John Lewis.”