Obama to Eulogize John Lewis During Civil Rights Icon’s Funeral

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Former President Barack Obama is slated to give the eulogy at US Rep. John Lewis’s funeral on Thursday. He will be joined by former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

Barack Obama places medal on John Lewis
Alex Wong | Getty Images via CNN

Obama to Give Eulogy for US Rep. John Lewis

The funeral for John Lewis will be held on Thursday morning at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. This service will mark the last day of a six-day memorial ceremony in his honor. Obama’s speech is scheduled to happen around midday.

While President Donald Trump has avoided the opportunity to pay an in-person tribute to John Lewis, three former commanders in chief will each have a role during the service. Trump departed for Texas around 9:55 am ET. A few minutes later, a procession with Lewis and his family arrived to Joint Base Andrews.

When asked if he’d be joining in the remembrances, Trump said, “No, I won’t be going, no.” There are currently no plans for Trump to attend the Lewis’ funeral. However, Trump did offer condolences on Twitter.

“Saddened to hear the news of civil rights hero John Lewis passing. Melania and I send our prayers to he and his family,” wrote Trump.

John Lewis served in the house since 1987. As a result of his long-standing views on human and civil rights, he became a icon. A well-deserved honor.

Related: Lawmakers Paid Respect to John Lewis Monday Afternoon

Obama and Lewis Had a Lot of Respect for One Another

It is well-known that Obama and Lewis were mutual admirers of one another. Lewis described Obama’s 2009 inauguration as an “out of body” experience.

“When we were organizing voter-registration drives, going on the Freedom Rides, sitting in, coming here to Washington for the first time, getting arrested, going to jail, being beaten, I never thought–I never dreamed–of the possibility that an African American would one day be elected president of the United States,” said Lewis at the time.

Later in 2011, Lewis received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which was placed around his neck from none other than that African American president. After Lewis passed, Obama offered a statement in honor of Lewis. He said that the icon will “continue, even in his passing, to serve as a beacon.”

“He loved this country so much that he risked his life and his blood so that it might live up to its promise. And through the decades, he not only gave all of himself to the cause of freedom and justice. But, inspired generations that followed to try to live up to his example,” said Obama.

Former President Jimmy Carter also offered condolences. In a statement, he said that Lewis “made an indelible mark on history through his quest to make our nation more just.” He added that Lewis “never shied away from what he called ‘good trouble’ to lead our nation on the path toward human and civil rights.”

Related: Rep. John Lewis Diagnosed With Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer

While some seniors deal with things like psoriasis arthritis treatment, Rep. John Lewis struggled with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.