Jul 27, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Voice of John Lewis echoes through Capitol Rotunda at memorial service

Lawmakers attending a memorial service for Rep. John Lewis burst into a standing ovation on Monday after listening to a recorded commencement speech by the late civil rights icon, the first Black lawmaker to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda.

What he's saying: "One day in 1955, 15 years old in the 10th grade, I heard of Rosa Parks. I heard the words of Martin Luther King Jr. on the radio. 1957, I met Rosa Parks at the age of 17. In 1958, at the age of 18, I met Martin Luther King Jr., and these two individuals inspired me to get in the way, to get in trouble."

  • "So, I come here to say to you this morning, on this beautiful campus with your great education, you must find a way to get in the way. You must find a way to get in trouble. Good trouble, necessary trouble."
  • "There may be some setbacks, some delays, some disappointments, but you must never, ever give up or give in. You must keep the faith and keep your eyes on the prize. That is your calling, that is your mission, that is your moral obligation, that is your mandate. Get out there and do it. Get in the way."
  • "We all live in the same house. Be bold. Be courageous. Stand up, speak up, speak out, and find a way to create the beloved community. The beloved world. A world of peace. World that recognizes the dignity of all human kind. Never become bitter. Never become hostile. Never hate. Live in peace. We are one, one people, and one love."

Go deeper: More highlights from the ceremony

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