ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10/CNN) — Former President Barack Obama is scheduled to deliver a eulogy for civil rights icon John Lewis on Thursday at a memorial service before his body is laid to rest in Atlanta, according to sources familiar with the former presidents’ plans.
Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush also will attend and participate in the funeral.READ MORE: Colonial Pipeline returns to 'normal operations' after restart
There will be a “celebration of life” at Ebenezer Baptist Church Horizon Sanctuary at 11 a.m. ET, according to an announcement from Lewis’ family. A release from the family states that “given COVID-19 precautions, this event is not open to the public. Attendees will be required to wear face and mouth coverings.”
The service will be live streamed on CBSNews.com.
The service will then be followed by interment at South-View Cemetery.
Former President Jimmy Carter — the oldest of the four living former presidents — will not attend, Carter Center spokesperson Soyia Ellison tells CNN in an email Wednesday night.
“The Carters are not traveling these days but are sending their condolences in writing,” Ellison wrote.
Carter, 95, issued a statement when the civil rights icon passed away on July 17, saying that Lewis “made an indelible mark on history through his quest to make our nation more just” and “never shied away from what he called “good trouble” to lead our nation on the path toward human and civil rights.”
Thursday’s events will cap a series of memorial ceremonies paying tribute to the late congressman, who served as the US representative for Georgia’s 5th Congressional District for more than three decades and was widely seen as a moral conscience of Congress because of his decades-long embodiment of the nonviolent fight for civil rights.
Lewis died at the age of 80 following a six-month battle with cancer, a loss that sparked an outpouring of grief and tributes to his life and legacy across the country.
As part of a series of events honoring Lewis over the past week, his body lay in state at the US Capitol in Washington, a tribute reserved for the most distinguished government officials and military officers.
Lewis was a towering figure of the civil rights movement. Angered by the unfairness of the Jim Crow South, he launched what he called “good trouble” with organized protests and sit-ins. In the early 1960s, he was a Freedom Rider, challenging segregation at interstate bus terminals across the South and in the nation’s capital.READ MORE: Disney World changes mask requirements for guests
A number of lawmakers wore face masks with the message “good trouble” written on them during a ceremony at the US Capitol after Lewis’ casket arrived there earlier this week.
At age 25, Lewis helped lead a march for voting rights on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, where he and other marchers were met by heavily armed state and local police who attacked them with clubs, fracturing Lewis’ skull. Images from that “Bloody Sunday” shocked the nation and galvanized support for the Voting Rights Act of 1965, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson.
Following a short ceremony outside of Brown Chapel AME Church on Sunday, Lewis’ body traveled on a horse-drawn caisson along several blocks of downtown Selma to the Pettus Bridge, which his flag-draped casket crossed.
The late congressman’s body was taken to the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta on Wednesday, where Gov. Brian Kemp, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and their spouses could be seen on the Capitol steps waiting to receive the casket.
— Cobb County Sheriff’s Office (@CobbSheriff) July 30, 2020
A procession with Lewis’ body and his family arrived at Andrews a few minutes later, met by an honor guard. The plane carrying Lewis’ casket, along with a separate aircraft for his family, departed following a brief ceremony.
The two entourages did not overlap on the Andrews tarmac. After days of commemoration and remembrances for Lewis, Trump made no mention of him as he left Washington.
President Donald Trump issued a statement on Twitter following Lewis’ death and ordered flags lowered to half-staff.
“Saddened to hear the news of civil rights hero John Lewis passing. Melania and I send our prayers to he and his family,” he wrote on Twitter.MORE NEWS: Petition Calls For Atlanta Public Schools To Reverse Early Bell Change Schedule
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