PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The only ‘Big Six’ civil rights leader still living has been named recipient of this year’s Liberty Medal.
‘Bloody Sunday’ is named in part for John Lewis:
“We were beaten, tear gassed. Some of us were left bloody right here on this bridge,” he said.
Lewis was among dozens of demonstrators injured when they were attacked by police on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama — part of a protest movement that helped pave the way for the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He spoke at last year’s 50th anniversary commemoration:
“We must use this moment to recommit ourselves. There’s still work left to be done.”
Lewis is a 15-term US congressman from Atlanta. National Constitution Center CEO Jeffrey Rosen notes Lewis’ “heroic leadership on behalf of civil rights and the Constitution” that has “helped to extend the blessings of liberty and equality to all Americans.”
Mayor Kenney calls the Democrat “an inspiration to people all over the world.”
Last year’s Liberty Medal winner, the Dalai Lama, was unable to attend the ceremony because of health issues.
This year’s event is set for September 19th.