The Most Moving Photos from John Lewis' Funeral and Memorial Services

The esteemed congressman and civil rights activist was remembered at a funeral attended by Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton on Thursday, after several days of meaningful visitations around the U.S.

01 of 25
John Lewis funeral
Michael M. Santiago/Getty

A horse-drawn carriage carried Congressman John Lewis' casket over Selma, Alabama's Edmund Pettus Bridge on July 26, 55 years after Lewis and other civil rights leaders were attacked in the same spot.

Lewis — named one of the Big Six leaders of the Civil Rights Movement at just 23 years old — died at age 80 on July 17. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December 2019. Lewis is survived by his only son, John Miles.

02 of 25
John Lewis funeral
Lynsey Weatherspoon/Getty

Those involved in the solemn procession on July 26 paid their respects.

03 of 25
John Lewis funeral
DAN ANDERSON/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Roses paved the way for Lewis' final journey in Selma.

04 of 25
John Lewis funeral
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty

Lewis' casket was transported to Washington, D.C., and taken via motorcade through the city's streets, including along the newly created Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House. Days before he was hospitalized in June, Lewis — U.S. Representative of Georgia's Fifth Congressional District since 1986 — was able to see the moving work.

"I just had to see and feel it for myself that, after many years of silent witness, the truth is still marching on," he wrote in an essay for the New York Times published after his death.

"Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble," he added, using one of his signature phrases to inspire others.

05 of 25
John Lewis funeral
Drew Angerer/Getty

The motorcade also drove by the Lincoln Memorial, among other poignant spots.

06 of 25
John Lewis funeral
Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post via Getty

A mourner placed a hand on Lewis' hearse as the motorcade passed through D.C. on July 27.

07 of 25
John Lewis funeral
hip Somodevilla/Getty

Vice President Mike Pence and wife Karen paid their respects at the U.S. Capitol.

08 of 25
John Lewis funeral
MATT MCCLAIN/POOL/AFP via Getty

Members of Congress came together on July 27 in Washington, D.C., to do the same.

09 of 25
John Lewis funeral
Jonathan Ernst - Pool/Getty

A bird's-eye view of the proceedings in the Capitol.

10 of 25
John Lewis funeral
MATT MCCLAIN/POOL/AFP via Getty

Former Vice President and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill, also paid their respects in the rotunda.

11 of 25
John Lewis funeral
Matt McClain-Pool/Getty

Mourners touched the late activist's casket at the Capitol.

12 of 25
John Lewis funeral
Drew Angerer/Getty

After dignitaries had their time, the casket was moved outside for a public viewing.

13 of 25
John Lewis
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

After D.C., Lewis was transported to Atlanta; there, members of the joint services military honor guard carried his casket up the Georgia State Capitol steps.

14 of 25
John Lewis
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The public had a chance to say goodbye in Atlanta.

15 of 25
John Lewis
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The view from above in Atlanta.

16 of 25
John Lewis
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The line to say goodbye to Lewis wrapped outside the Atlanta building.

17 of 25
Rep. John Lewis' Funeral
Rep. John Lewis' funeral on Thursday in Atlanta, Georgia. ALYSSA POINTER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Lewis' casket arrived at the celebration of life service in Atlanta on Thursday at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

18 of 25
John Lewis funeral
Military honor guard moves the casket of Rep. John Lewis into Ebenezer Baptist Church for his funeral, in Atlanta. Brynn Anderson/AP/Shutterstock

The military honor guard delivered Lewis to his funeral in Atlanta.

19 of 25
John Lewis funeral
Former President Barack Obama speaks during Rep. John Lewis' funeral in Atlanta on Thursday. Alyssa Pointer/AP/Shutterstock

At Thursday's funeral in Atlanta, former President Barack Obama eulogized Lewis.

Obama said during his speech that Lewis should be considered a "founding father" of a "fuller, fairer, better America."

"What a gift John lewis was," Obama said. "We are all so lucky to have him walk with us for a while and show us the way."

He was joined at the proceedings by current members of Congress, including Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

20 of 25
John Lewis funeral
President Bill Clinton speaks at Rep. John Lewis' funeral on Thursday. ALYSSA POINTER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Also on hand to give remarks, former President Bill Clinton.

He called Lewis "our friend" and spoke of his inspiring outlook and willingness to sacrifice his own safety for the rights of others during violent marches across the south, including during "Bloody Sunday" demonstrations in Selma.

"John Lewis was a walking rebuke to people who thought, 'Well, we ain't there yet and we've been working a long time. Isn't it time to bag it?' " Clinton said. "He kept moving."

21 of 25
John Lewis funeral
From left: former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush at Rep. John Lewis' funeral on Thursday. Alyssa Pointer/AP/Shutterstock

Former President George W. Bush, with wife Laura, spoke as well.

"He's been called a living saint," Bush said during his eulogy, which touched on Lewis' childhood in Troy, Alabama, and highlighted Lewis' life's work advancing civil rights.

Bush said "we live in a better and nobler country today because of John Lewis and his abiding faith in the power of God and the power of Democracy" and added that Lewis will "live forever in the hearts of Americans."

22 of 25
John Lewis funeral
Alyssa Pointer/AP/Shutterstock

Lewis' brother, Samuel, was among the mourners in a custom mask.

23 of 25
John Lewis funeral

Dr. Bernice King, daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a close friend of Lewis', was among mourners, as well.

24 of 25
John Lewis funeral
ALYSSA POINTER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Jennifer Holliday sang "Only What You Do for Christ Will Last" during Thursday's service.

25 of 25
John Lewis funeral
CHRIS ALUKA BERRY/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

The public was invited to watch the proceedings via video outside the church.

Related Articles