Jul 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Bush: "We live in a better and nobler country today because of John Lewis"

Speaking at the funeral of the late civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis on Thursday, President George W. Bush urged Americans to "keep ourselves open to hearing the call of love, the call of service and the call to sacrifice for others," stressing that "the story that began in Troy isn't ending here today, nor is the work."

Why it matters: Bipartisan former presidents Bush, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton are honoring Lewis at the service. President Trump, who had a contentious relationship with Lewis, is notably absent.

What he's saying: "Listen, John and I had our disagreements, of course, but in the America John Lewis fought for, and the America I believe in, differences of opinion are inevitable elements and evidence of democracy in action," Bush said.

  • "We the people, including congressmen and presidents, can have differing views on how to perfect our union while sharing the conviction that our nation — however flawed — is, at heart, a good and noble one."
  • "We live in a better and nobler country today because of John Lewis and his abiding faith in the power of God, in the power of democracy, and in the power of love to lift us all to a higher ground."

Go deeper: John Lewis urges young people "to let freedom ring" in posthumous op-ed

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