Procession across Edmund Pettus Bridge honors John Lewis

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The Edmund Pettus Bridge, which crosses the Alabama River in Selma, bears the weight of seminal moments in the civil rights movement. The weight of seminal moments with seminal figures.

John Lewis, who walked the bridge with about 600 other voting rights advocates on March 7, 1965, was among those who helped make that demonstration a pivotal one in the fight for African-American suffrage.

On that day, police infamously beat demonstrators bloody – earning the day the moniker “Bloody Sunday.” Lewis suffered a fractured skull.

But that bloody march eventually helped lead to the passage of Voting Rights Act of 1965.

On a Sunday morning 55 year later, a procession honoring Lewis crossed the bridge, following the route of that historic Bloody Sunday march.

Lewis, who represented Georgia’s 5th Congressional District for more than 30 years, died this month after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 80 years old.

Six days of memorial services celebrating the life of Lewis began Saturday in his hometown of Troy, Alabama, where he was memorialized by family members, gospel singer Dottie Peoples and local dignitaries.

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