Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) released the following statement today after news that Congressman John Lewis, civil rights leader and Congressman from Atlanta, Georgia, has died following a battle with pancreatic cancer.
"When I came to Congress, one of my greatest joys was the opportunity to serve alongside John Lewis. Just seeing him in a meeting or on the House floor brought me awe and appreciation. I have said this over and over, but he is one of my heroes, and without him we have lost one of our greatest voices for what is right, what is just, and what represents progress for this country. My heart is broken.
"One of my proudest moments was our sit-in on the House floor in protest of Congress's failure to vote on gun violence prevention. The idea that I was fighting alongside such a titan was truly incredible, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity. It was just one of many fights for justice that he took up, and each and every day he inspired all of us to do the same. He dedicated years of his life, he dedicated his blood and tears to making this country just a little bit better, a little more true to the ideals we claimed at our founding. Now, perhaps more than any other time in recent memory, I wish he was able to see the momentum of today’s movement brought to fruition. But, we can honor his legacy and his memory by making sure that we all remain in the fight.
"I join the country in praying for comfort and peace for his family, and I hope that they find solace not just in his legacy, but in the living results of his work. He will be dearly missed."