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John Lewis: Mourners pay tributes to US civil rights icon

A memorial service has been held for US civil rights icon John Lewis in his hometown of Troy, Alabama.

Mourners were required to wear masks at Troy University's Trojan Arena because of the coronavirus outbreak, and the number of visitors was limited to 800.

Lewis, a Democratic congressman, died last week of pancreatic cancer aged 80.

He was one of the "Big Six" civil rights leaders, which included Martin Luther King Jr, and helped organise the historic 1963 March on Washington.

He was a member of the House of Representatives from Georgia's 5th District, an area which covered most of the state capital, Atlanta.

Saturday's memorial service started several days of tributes that will culminate in Lewis lying in state in the rotunda of the US Capitol in Washington DC.

In December 2019, Lewis announced that he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

"I have been in some kind of fight – for freedom, equality, basic human rights – for nearly my entire life," he said in a statement released at the time. "I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now."

'He always was a fighter'

At the service in Troy, family members paid tributes to Lewis, describing him as a loving and fearless family man.

"He'd gravitate toward the least of us," said brother Henry Grant Lewis. "He worked a lifetime to help others."

"He always was a fighter," said sister Ethel Mae Tyner.

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After the service, the hearse with Lewis' casket arrived at a chapel in Selma, Alabama, for a private remembrance.

On Sunday, the coffin will be taken to the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where Lewis hadRead More – Source

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