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Since Rep. Lewis' Death, Calls Grow To Rename Historic Bridge After Him

SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

In 2015, Congressman John Lewis went back to Selma, Ala., marking 50 years since he and other civil rights marchers crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JOHN LEWIS: We were so peaceful, so quiet. No one's saying a word. We were beaten, tear gassed. Some of us was left bloody right here on this bridge.

MCCAMMON: That day became known as Bloody Sunday. Lewis went on to spend more than three decades serving in Congress and advocating for civil rights.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

LEWIS: We come to Selma to be renewed. We come to be inspired. We come to be reminded that we must do the work that justice and equality calls us to do.

MCCAMMON: The bridge is named for a Confederate officer who was active in the Ku Klux Klan. Since Lewis's death on July 17, there have been growing calls to rename it for him. This morning, as Congressman John Lewis's casket is carried across that bridge, marchers will walk with him there one last time.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.