Speech ● Congress
For Immediate Release: 
July 20, 2020
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor today to pay tribute to Congressman John Lewis. Below are his remarks for delivery and a link to the video.

Click here to watch the video.
“Madam Speaker, I have walked with John Lewis at least fifteen times across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, where with courage and commitment he made a seminal difference in the life of our country. Many of us walked with him. As we followed in John Lewis’s footsteps, I suspect my colleagues saw, as I did, that the man we knew to be a veteran legislator and person of wisdom and experience still carried in his heart the same energy, optimism, and determined spirit that he bore in his youth. John never stopped being the young man who dreamed of change and knew it could be achieved. In that springtime Alabama sun, he beamed with a passion for justice and shone that light back on all of us who marched with him.

“Even at eighty, John Robert Lewis had the heart and fiery soul of a young protestor for a righteous cause, an organizer for the community and country he served. Every day of his life, John marched for justice, civil rights, peace, and equality. On every step on his journey, he brought all of us and this country he loved with him. On Friday, John’s march on earth came to an end, and he was revered as a good and faithful servant. Now he rests in peace and in the bosom of God. He made sure that we know the way forward — toward racial justice; toward communities safer from gun violence; toward a cleaner and healthier planet; toward an America where everyone can access quality, affordable health care and where no child goes to bed hungry; toward a world where peace and plenty replace conflict and scarcity; and toward an America whose people heed Dr. King’s call to sit together at the table of brotherhood and sisterhood.

“Mr. Speaker, we have a long way to go on that march, but if we continue to walk in John Lewis’s footsteps, we will make it. He would say, we must make it. Our struggle to realize the Beloved Community was his vision and our mission.  Surely, he will be with us as we continue that mission of the movement. Where he was the veteran at our side, now John will be the wind at our backs, and as the song says, ‘beneath our wings.’ And, with his guidance and inspiration, we can, as he did, ‘walk with the wind’ as we march on toward justice, equality, and peace until victory is won.

“He was our inspiration, he was our guide, he was our friend, he was our colleague. As I said on Saturday morning, there is a hole in the heart of America. I yield back.”