Mr. Speaker, I rise today to celebrate the life of Congressman John Robert Lewis, a civil rights icon who served the American people with honour and distinction. He was a courageous warrior who fought against racism and for equality in all of its forms.
He was inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King's non-violent struggle for racial equality and was part of the seminal moments of the civil rights movement. He was one of the original Freedom Riders. He marched on Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama in 1965, where he was beaten by state troopers. He helped organize the March on Washington.
The work he started nearly sixty years ago remains unfinished. One of his last public appearances was to protest the George Floyd killing at the hands of the Minneapolis police.
We grieve together with our American brothers and sisters on the passing of the conscience of their nation. As he passes the torch to another generation of civil rights leaders, let us honour him by doubling our efforts to combat racism and achieving true equality.