- The late MP John Lewis wrote an essay to America in his final days encouraging the current generation to continue to fight for their faith and continue to participate in the democratic process.
- "Democracy is not a state. It is an act and every generation must do its part," Lewis wrote. "Now it's your turn to let freedom ring."
- The civil rights icon should be buried on Thursday. The Georgia Democrat died on July 17th.
In the days leading up to his death, the late MP was John Lewis wrote an essay to the Americans I urge them to continue to fight for a more just and peaceful world.
"Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and every generation must do its part to build what we call the beloved community, a nation and world society that is at peace with itself," said the icon of civil rights in the article published in the New York Times on Thursday – the day of his funeral.
"Ordinary people with extraordinary visions can redeem America's soul by experiencing good, necessary difficulties," added Lewis, before underlining the importance of participating in the democratic process through voting.
Lewis' signature success was the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. His skull was broken the same year when he led more than 600 peaceful demonstrators across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Alabama on "Blood Sunday". They marched for voting rights.
In his last message to the country, Lewis expressed hope for the current generation and said he was inspired by recent demonstrations against racism and police brutality.
"I want you to know that you have inspired me in the last days and hours of my life. You filled me with hope for the next chapter in great American history when you used your power to make a difference in our society to effect, "said Lewis.
Lewis, the last surviving speaker in Washington in March 1963, one of the original Freedom Riders and close friend of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. completed the essay and encouraged Americans to "stand up" and fight for what they believe in.
"Although I may not be here with you, I ask you to respond to the highest calling of your heart and to stand for what you really believe in. In my life I have done everything possible to follow this path of peace, the path of to demonstrate love and nonviolence are the better way. Now it's your turn to let freedom ring, "Lewis wrote, adding," when historians pick up their pens to write 21st century history, let them say it was your generation that finally put down the heavy burdens of hatred and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war. "
Lewis died on July 17 at the age of 80 after a month-long battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
His funeral, which is not open to the public, was scheduled for Thursday at the Horizon Sanctuary of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.