CAPAC Members Remember and Honor Rep. John Lewis

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Rep. John Lewis on the Edmund Pettus Bridge with Sen. Mazie Hirono and the late Rep. Mark Takai, both from Hawaii.

WASHINGTON — Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a leader in the civil rights movement, died on July 17 at the age of 80. Following are tributes from his colleagues in the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii): “I’m struggling to find the words to describe the loss I’m feeling with the passing of my friend John Lewis. A fierce champion for justice, John meant so much to so many of us.

“Now, it’s up to each of us to follow his powerful example and carry on. We love and miss you, John.”

Rep. John Lewis and Sen. Tammy Duckworth

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.): “John Lewis was an icon who fought with every ounce of his being to advance the cause of civil rights for all Americans. I’m devastated for his family, friends, staff — and all those whose lives he touched.

“My friend, thank you for showing the world what good trouble looks like.”

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.): “Rest in power to a true American hero, John Lewis. It was an honor to serve with you in Congress, and I am forever grateful for your leadership.

“It hurts to not have you with us in these difficult times, but I know you’d want us to fight on and get in more good trouble.”

Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside): “He was the conscience of Congress — our guiding light in the struggle to build a better America. He was a voice of reason — when he spoke we listened and found hope in his wisdom. He was a fighter — he was not afraid to make good trouble to reveal and heal injustices.

“We have suffered an enormous loss with the passing of Congressman John Lewis. May he rest in power knowing that the movement he helped build has inspired generations that will keep pushing for progress.

“Justice was always his mission. He held before us the vision of America, our nation, as a beloved community. And so, the work is not done — we will get in good trouble to fulfill America’s promise of liberty and justice for all. Let us commit ourselves to building America as a beloved community.

“I would like to share his words that have been a source of spiritual strength: ‘Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.’

“I will miss my dear friend. Rest in Peace, John Lewis.”

Rep. John Lewis on the Edmund Pettus Bridge with Rep. Ted Lieu and his wife Betty.

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance): “Heartbroken that our American hero John Lewis passed away. It was an honor of a lifetime to have served in Congress with Mr. Lewis. A candle of hope and light went out today. Actually, not a candle, more like a 10,000-megawatt power station. May he rest in peace.”

Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena): “I am heartbroken at the loss of my friend, Rep. John Lewis. It was an honor not only to serve with him, but to march with him, and to fight beside him. He taught us so much about how to fight for what is right, what is good, and what is just. May we all keep making good trouble.”

Rep. T.J. Cox (D-Bakersfield): “It was an honor and pleasure to call John Lewis a friend and colleague. Congress is filled with loud voices, but when he spoke, people would go silent and listen. We can and we must continue his fight for justice and equality. May God bless his soul. He will be missed but never forgotten.”

Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento): “America has lost one of its brightest beacons of light – Congressman John Lewis – a humble giant, whose light emanated from within him, but who never sought the limelight for himself. Instead, he lived every single day to overcome injustice, eradicate racism, and give hope to all who walked beside him.

“At this moment in our history when speaking truth to power is so vital, it is more important than ever to follow John’s words, to ‘stand up, speak out, and keep your eyes on the prize.’ John was our moral compass, and now we must continue his work – our work – holding our country accountable to be the best version of itself.

“I will miss this gentle giant, my friend and my colleague. My prayers are with the Lewis family. We will all fight on in his honor.”

Rep. Ami Bera (D-Sacramento): “I join Americans across the country in mourning the death of Congressman John Lewis. An American icon and a beacon of justice and freedom, Congressman Lewis showed the world the power of ‘good trouble.’ Our country is much better off because of his incredible life, and his legacy will forever echo throughout our history.

“I was humbled to be able to call Congressman Lewis a colleague and a friend, and I was extremely honored to join him for the 2019 Civil Rights Pilgrimage in Selma alongside my wife Janine — a moment we will never forget.

“My thoughts are with his family and all the lives he impacted.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Santa Clara): “It’s impossible to convey the power and magnitude of John Lewis. He was a beacon of wisdom, hope, and justice for our entire caucus and for our nation. There isn’t a member among us who wasn’t mentored by him in some way. It was an honor of a lifetime to have served alongside such a giant of American history.”

Reps. Pramila Jayapal, John Lewis, and Judy Chu march to the headquarters of U.S. Customs and Border Protection during a protest in June 2018 in Washington, D.C.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.): “From a bridge in Selma to the halls of Congress, John Lewis was a true American hero who never stopped fighting for what is right. We must continue his march towards justice. We must make good trouble in his name. And we must never give up, never give in.

“Rest in power.”

Rep. Raja Krishamoorthi (D-Ill.): “America has lost a hero, a patriot, and most of all, a brave, kind man who devoted his life to justice. I’m proud to have been able to call John Lewis a colleague and a friend, but far more, I’m proud to live in an America he helped make possible.

“The progress our country made on civil rights in his lifetime is a testament to his leadership and those he partnered with and inspired in leading our country forward. John Lewis blessed America with his life’s work, and now we are entrusted with carrying that work forward.

“On a personal note, John Lewis was very kind to my family during our visits with him, and he even visited Chicago to spend time with my constituents, supporters, and me. He was the same man in private that he was in public: thoughtful, affable, and incredibly generous in spirit. John Lewis is one for the ages.”

Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.): “John Lewis believed in and fought for a better America. We owe him an immense debt of gratitude for all that he did. We must be fearless like him. Will always cherish the friendship we had. RIP, you will be missed.”

Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.): “It hurts to think that morning will come without John Lewis. Serving with him in Congress was an honor beyond anything I could have imagined, and I will treasure that time for the rest of my life.

“When I brought my two baby boys to the floor of the House of Representatives, I introduced them to him and said he was a real-life superhero. They thought I was joking. I was not.”

Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.): “I am heartbroken by the passing of John Lewis. Words cannot properly convey the loss that this is for Congress as well as the nation. John was a guiding light to all of us and was a leader in trying to make America a more perfect union. His steadfast moral leadership will be deeply missed. I send my condolences to his family and to everyone who is saddened by this immense loss. We should all be sure to make some ‘good trouble’ to honor his enormous legacy.”

Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.): “America has lost a legend. John Lewis was a kind soul, but also a fierce fighter for justice and equality, always pushing this country to live up to its ideals. It was an honor to serve alongside him. He is irreplaceable. Rest In peace, John Lewis.”

Rep. John Lewis on the Edmund Pettus Bridge with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii): “No words can truly describe the selflessness, courage and love that John Lewis embodied throughout his life. I’ll never forget the many times he encouraged us all to make ‘good trouble’ in the pursuit of freedom and justice for all.

“This picture was taken on the infamous Pettus Bridge in Selma, where John Lewis was beaten by police as he and so many marched for equality and their right to vote. It was incredible to be there with him and the other freedom riders still living. They told stories. They laughed. They cried. And they sang. And sang some more.

“It was a transformational experience that spoke to how far we’ve come because of people like John, and how much work we still have to do as we strive toward that more perfect union. We love you, John, and we will miss you dearly. Your voice and legacy will live on.”

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