The legacy of Rep. John Lewis: House colleagues, activists honor Civil Rights icon

The congressman from Georgia, who marched with Dr. King and helped shape modern history, died at age 80. In his decades of public service, Lewis was known for making what he called "good trouble."
7:44 | 07/21/20

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Transcript for The legacy of Rep. John Lewis: House colleagues, activists honor Civil Rights icon
John Lewis a towering figure of the civil rights era fought some of the toughest battles in this nation's history never faltering always pushing forward. Leaving behind a legacy that burns brightly in today's young leaders. John Lewis was. A hero he wasn't writer John Lewis as a friend to many people. He did not only lead byways powerful speeches. In the action I never thought yeah politics. I don't think he ever outgrew its feet and activists. A civil rights icon fearless politician and an activist always. Tonight John lewis' lasting legacy echoes through a new generation of leaders is losing his sad to see who didn't sign. This morning days after his death and notes of gratitude left on his office door. Colleagues. Honoring his memory with an emotional moment of silence on the house floor. I just thought so many of my colleagues tearing and I was just so emotional represented of warrant Underwood. The youngest black woman in history to serve in congress. First met John Lewis as an intern fourteen years ago. I just remembered being spot by hand and you're probably. That time probably forty. Young. African American college students and he answered every single one of our questions how would you say that he influenced your own past and and your own career he is. One of the American heroes. That is universally respected. Embodied service and I think what distinguished him is that he always had the courage to do the right day. We have tissues to serve with integrity to choose to serve and honor meet to choose to be courageous he was always bear. As a provider that it's OK make that choice. Students simply witness history he shaped it. March for bled for it and just 23 years old he was there right alongside Martin and the king junior. Dubbed one of the big six leaders of the civil rights movement who helped plan the historic march on Washington. Credit. That does not but again that we don't walk yeah. And on a high bridge in Selma. One of the low moments of the entire civil rights movement right there out front John Lewis. Years later he would be elected to congress serving as a US representative for Georgia for more than three decades where he continued to get into what he called. Good trouble. Why don't my memories which mr. Lewis was sitting right hand on or chamber he helped initiate. Said it to push our. British. It would Syrians. It was east Rome it was hot and yeah yeah and all. Represented a grace Meng remembering her colleague posting his photo with her two young sons writing. John Ellis brought more young people to the house chamber than anyone I've ever seen he wanted to indices it was their house. I wanted my boy who act out more we're only. But I want it eat that old little reminder. How hard people ought. Am so we all enjoy democracy. And civil rights congress. That are. Throughout his life the fight for justice left ten beaten and bruised. We don't try to him a so called white waiting room and the moment we story excluded dual. The roof when the young men attacked thousand. In 1961. In Rock Hill South Carolina Ellen Wilson and John Lewis stood on opposite sides of history. Lewis then a freedom rider Wilson attacking demonstrators. Do you help speed up representative Lewis has. Gotten him we'll pay you. It was you it was all you. Eventually a friend asked him about his faith in Jesus a question that offended his life please that'd if you dead right now. Do you know who you'd be placid you know. 2009 ABC news brought these two men together a reconciliation. Almost fifty years in the making them so hard for work. Happen. What. Prohibit it's all right. So almost forty years ago. His power came not just from changing policy but from changing hearts and inspiring new leaders John Wilson's arm activists. I'm being okay with. Certain things 33 year old Alvin bola Georgia's an activist and middle school teacher in Washington DC. Police say intestinal activists. And every main actors from personal thing was probably into the dozens loan which hit on hard pass away. I don't oh cents ages seventeen and when he guided living reminded me. Of how unfair it is slogans. Earlier this year injured while protesting the death of George Floyd. But resolute in continuing to raise his voice. This confusing how we got there there. Not knock out what. I didn't let them see. The fight is systematic racism. Despite his equal rights period. Right now at this moment do you in this country want to see justice will be RNC. Want to see more justice than George fluid. Who exuded people who are killing people schools. So is there something that goes through you make sure. Across the country 27 year old Zahara from Raj is an activist and member of the Palestinian youth movement. At the Palestinian with a mother living in America. My very existence and identity has always been worked for more than fifty days she's been marching with the Detroit real dreams organization. Growing up in Detroit I've been able to learn who has first hand on the oppression of black and our comments. Fight every single day here in the US. And most important thing is being able to tidy struggles together. In order to form a coalition of resistance she set to graduate from law school next month and hopes to use her degree to continue to fight for justice and cannibalism legacy ballet getting into when he called good trouble John Lewis inspired activism and the way his unrelenting dedication to the call he knew where that you great power was. And that's in the street what would you say is his lasting legacy. I think that he and. Fired. All of us. To continue to reach far higher highest ideals. Witches. You know two news. Make our country. Better for everybody. And of course. You know there will be. Opposition. But when you're on the side of justice. When you're on the side of equality and if you continue to persevere. And do not give didn't change is possible. And I think that we have seen. It manifest and over the course of his life time. And it's up to us to continue that I'd.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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