The body of John Lewis, the late Georgia congressman and civil rights icon, will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda next week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Thursday in a joint statement.
Lewis will first be honored at an invitation-only ceremony Monday, the lawmakers said. The public will be allowed to pay their respects “in a socially-distant manner” later that day and on Tuesday.
Pelosi and McConnell said mourners would be required to wear masks.
As Politico noted, Lewis, a Democrat, will be the second Black lawmaker to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol. Former Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), who died last year, was the first.
Only about three dozen people, including 12 presidents and four Unknown Soldiers, have been honored in this way.
Lewis, who helped organize the 1963 March on Washington and was dubbed the “conscience of Congress,” died last week at the age of 80 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
“I have been in some kind of fight ― for freedom, equality, basic human rights ― for nearly my entire life,” Lewis said in a December 2019 statement about his diagnosis. “I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now.”
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