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John R. Lewis 'a decorated soldier in struggle for justice & equality'- Dr the Hon Wheatley

- Icon of civil rights movement, longtime Georgia Congressman & protégé of Martin Luther King Jr died on Friday, July 17, 2020, aged 80
In 2010, President Barack H. Obama awarded Mr John R. Lewis the Presidential Medal of Freedom—the nation’s highest civilian honour. Photo: Mary Turck.com
John R. Lewis (second from left) joins American civil-rights campaigner Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife Coretta Scott King in a march from Selma, Ala., to the state capital in Montgomery on March 30, 1965. Photo: William Lovelace—Express/Getty Images
John R. Lewis (second from left) joins American civil-rights campaigner Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife Coretta Scott King in a march from Selma, Ala., to the state capital in Montgomery on March 30, 1965. Photo: William Lovelace—Express/Getty Images
Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr The Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), who is a strong supporter of the fight against racial injustice, said Mr John R. Lewis was an inspiration as a civil rights leader and an elected official. Photo: VINO/File
Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr The Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), who is a strong supporter of the fight against racial injustice, said Mr John R. Lewis was an inspiration as a civil rights leader and an elected official. Photo: VINO/File
Outspoken Virgin Islands resident and clergyman, Bishop John I. Cline said the world yearns for leaders with integrity and courage and boldness, who stand for righteousness like Mr John R. Lewis. Photo: Facebook/File
Outspoken Virgin Islands resident and clergyman, Bishop John I. Cline said the world yearns for leaders with integrity and courage and boldness, who stand for righteousness like Mr John R. Lewis. Photo: Facebook/File
GEORGIA, USA- As the United States of America (USA) and the rest of the world struggle with race relations, following the brutal killing of George P. Floyd Jr by a white police officer in late May 2020, the civil rights movement in the USA has lost its icon, longtime Georgia Congressman, Mr John R. Lewis.

Mr Lewis died on Friday, July 17, 2020 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 80.

According to TIME, Mr Lewis’ death represents the end of an era, not only for Congress but for the country as a whole.

A survivor of Alabama’s “Bloody Sunday” massacre in 1965 and a protegé of Martin Luther King Jr who would ultimately inspire Barack H. Obama to enter public office, Lewis was one of the last living leaders of the civil rights movement.

A member of Congress for more than thirty years, he channeled all he had learned from his fight for equality as a young man into empowering youth and minority communities and encouraging activism.

In 2010, Mr Obama awarded Lewis the Presidential Medal of Freedom—the nation’s highest civilian honor.

After the election of President Donald J. Trump he became, in his mid-70s, a self-defined active leader of the resistance movement, boycotting the 2017 inauguration and delivering an impassioned speech on the need to impeach the President last October.

Mr Lewis’ death has been felt across the world, including in the Virgin Islands.

A ‘decorated soldier’

Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr The Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), who is a strong supporter of the fight against racial injustice, said Mr Lewis was an inspiration as a civil rights leader and an elected official.

Hon Wheatley told Virgin Islands News Online that he was able to enjoy certain civil liberties in the USA because of the struggles Mr Lewis and others fought during the civil rights era.

“As a congressman, he continued the fight as a lawmaker and representative of people, institutionalising the  principles he marched for.

“I salute him as one of our most decorated soldiers in the struggle for justice and equality,” Dr Wheatley remarked.

Lewis was a man of ‘integrity & courage’- Bishop John I. Cline

Outspoken Virgin Islands resident and clergyman, Bishop John I. Cline said the world yearns for leaders with integrity and courage and boldness, who stand for righteousness like Mr Lewis.

He said at a time when America needed such a man to stand with the likes of Dr King and Andrew J. Young there was John R. Lewis, and his life and his legacy was an inspiration to many around the world.

“Certainly, it is to me, when you see one selflessly give of their time, give of their talent, sacrifice their own personal comfort for the good of a people, for the good of a nation, that is truly inspiring.”

Bishop Cline added that not only was Mr Lewis a leader in his country but people all over the world respected him.

He said Mr Lewis will be missed but thank God he has left a tremendous legacy behind and footprints for us to follow.

Aspire to be like Mr Lewis- Bishop Cline

Bishop Cline noted that it would do well for persons aspiring to political leadership or national leadership to study Mr Lewis’ life and try to glean from some of the things he stood for.

“Today, when we have so many who are self-serving, and want to rise to power for their own grandeur, John Lewis leaves a legacy of selflessness and one that had the people in mind. He was about people.”

Noting that he was happy to lend his voice in paying tribute to such a great, wonderful and godly man as Mr Lewis, Bishop Cline concluded that there were lot to be sad about but also lots to be glad about.

Lewis was married for 44 years to Lillian Miles Lewis, who died in 2012. They have one son, John Miles Lewis.

10 Responses to “John R. Lewis 'a decorated soldier in struggle for justice & equality'- Dr the Hon Wheatley”

  • Sad (19/07/2020, 19:06) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    The last of his kind. RIP
  • black man (19/07/2020, 19:09) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    Now this is a freedom fighter like Martin and Malcolm
  • for real (19/07/2020, 20:24) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    It is people like him and what he stood for is why our government should not grant immunity to police officers no matter what. Although he was in the USA his fight against police brutality against certain ethnic group is relevant across the entire world. No matter whether it is black police against black people or white against blacks or blacks against white giving police the power to do what they want when they want without accountability is wrong. I hope our government does not allow our islands to become a police state under the disguise of law and order.
  • Sad (19/07/2020, 20:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Waiting to see if some justice will be served here in the BVI, as many has been abused at all level by the act from high official in government.
  • Funny thing (19/07/2020, 21:18) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    All African Americans want monuments and named building changed yet if this happened in Africa to do with the slave trade there would be no people of recognition from their history.its a funny thing history you want 1 part wiped out and yet so proud of the part that sold you and is revere in the homeland called Africa.
    Assessing the people of Africa's past by today's standards would compel us to cast the majority of our heroes as villains"
    Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
    Nigerian journalist
  • E. Leonard (20/07/2020, 00:27) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    John R. Lewis earned the civil right icon recognition with his large body of work and actions fiercely waging civil rights battles. He walk the walk the walk and talk the talk; he was the real McCoy, the real deal. He was a bold, courageous, fearless, moral civil rights hero, warrior and leader. He leaves behind some Big shoes to fill yet his work is not finish, the goal of racial equality and equity is still elusive. His towering presence in the civil movement will be solely missed, leaving behind a record very worthy of emulation.
  • ta ta (20/07/2020, 06:40) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    We need some John Lewises in the Bvi
  • guy hill (20/07/2020, 07:12) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    He was a good man. Rest easy Mr.Lewis
  • T (20/07/2020, 13:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Thank God one some bady from the Caribbean we are not so bad after all that have been said may his soul rest in peace
  • Please watch (20/07/2020, 15:35) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    George Floyd is an interesting story, check out this: https://youtu.be/QH-1k35Ltpo


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