MEMPHIS, Tenn. — U.S. Congressman John Lewis (D) Georgia annually travels to Alabama, to commemorate "Bloody Sunday." The 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama was done by non-violent protesters.
The moment was met with heavy resistance from law enforcement as they tried to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
This year, he brought the so-called pilgrimage to Alabama to Memphis, for a visit to the National Civil Rights Museum.
With this being the 50th year since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Lewis decided to make Memphis the first stop on the "pilgrimage." King was killed on April 4th, 1968 at the Lorraine Motel.
"He inspired me to stand up, to speak up and to never give up," Lewis said.
Lewis brought about 30 members of congress with him to Memphis.
Organizers of the Memphis stop were hoping republican and democratic leaders would learn something about Dr. King's approach through documents, displays and videos at the National Civil Rights Museum.
"When he died, I think something died in all of us," Lewis said. "Something died in America. And each day I think we must find a way to dream the dreams that he dreamed.
Among the congressional attendees was Senator Lamar Alexander, the republican from Tennessee, who stood next to Lewis during a ceremonial wreath laying, beneath the balcony where Dr. King was killed.
"We have a long way to go, but we should not, as Ben Hooks used to say, our country is a work in progress, and the progress we've made, owes so much to John Lewis and the sanitation workers and the heroes of Memphis," Alexander said.
The "pilgrimage" will conclude in Alabama this weekend.
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