John Lewis, civil rights icon, honored at U.S. Capitol

The third day of remembrance was held for the late Rep. John Robert Lewis, the civil rights icon who died on July 17 at the age of 80. The body of the Democrat from Georgia was returned to Washington one final time to be honored for his lifelong service to the country.

A motorcade carrying the lawmaker's casket made several stops at significant landmarks, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and Black Lives Matter Plaza.

Then an honor guard carried his casket into the U.S. Capitol and placed it in the Rotunda, where Lewis will lie in state, an extremely high honor reserved for relatively few individuals over the decades.

"It is fitting that John Lewis joins this pantheon of patriots, resting upon the same catafalque as President Abraham Lincoln," Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said at a small ceremony marking the occasion.

Pelosi called her late colleague the "conscience of the Congress" who was "revered and beloved on both sides of the aisle, on both sides of the Capitol." Indeed, the late Sen. John McCain, a Republican, had called Lewis an American hero.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, also spoke at the ceremony. He said Lewis was a model of courage and a "peacemaker."

In an unusual move after the ceremony, the casket was moved to the top of the steps on the Capitol's east side so that members of the public could walk by and pay their respects. (The Capitol is closed to visitors due to the coronavirus pandemic.)

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, and Jill Biden, his wife, paid their respects late Monday afternoon. 

Lewis's body will remain in the Capitol until Wednesday. Then it will be brought to Atlanta for a funeral service and burial.

With The Associated Press and Fox News

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