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Guthrie Statement on the Passing of Congressman John Lewis

Washington, July 18, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Brett Guthrie (KY-02) today released the following statement on the passing of Congressman John Lewis:

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of my friend and colleague Congressman John Lewis. Not only was Mr. Lewis incredibly courageous, facing the many challenges in his life with dignity, he was also incredibly kind. He was one of the first members of Congress I met on my first day. I’ll never forget him introducing himself to me. I remember thinking, ‘Is he really introducing himself to me?’

“Mr. Lewis was also humble. I always referred to him as Mr. Lewis out of respect. The first few times we talked he said, ‘Call me John.’ I never did. I had the opportunity to watch the movie Selma with him. The actor who played him had a strong resemblance to Mr. Lewis when he was in his 20’s. After the movie I asked Mr. Lewis what it was like to see his life on screen, especially the events at Selma, he paused and looked at me with a smile and said, ‘All I was thinking is I had a lot of hair back then.’

“When I would introduce people from Kentucky to Mr. Lewis, I would always say he was the last surviving speaker from the March on Washington. Hopefully we can all honor his life by re-dedicating ourselves to his work – to ensure we all have the courage to treat each other with kindness, dignity, and respect.

“The people of the Second District have allowed me to serve in a wonderful place where I get to meet people who have done great things, none more than my friend, Mr. Lewis. I’m grateful that I recently got to celebrate his incredible life with him at his 80th birthday party. I, along with all of Congress and our nation, mourn the loss of Congressman John Lewis, a true American hero who will be sorely missed.”