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Remembering John Lewis, his legacy and his influence on those in Fort Wayne

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Legacy. Passion. Dedication. Inspiration. These are just a few words to describe the man known as the "Conscience of Congress".

Congressman John Lewis left no stone unturned on his journey towards justice and he inspired countless Americans along the way. After six days of tributes, Lewis was laid to rest in Atlanta on Thursday after being remembered by family, friends and some former presidents. President Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were in attendance while President Barack Obama delivered the eulogy. President Donald Trump was not in attendance.

Whether John Lewis was marching in Alabama or was representing the fifth district of the State of Georgia, Lewis' influence was felt all over including right here in 21 Country.

One of the many who was impacted by John Lewis is Councilwoman, Michelle Chambers. She says if it wasn’t for Lewis we would not have the right to vote nor would she be in office right now.

“It was him that gave us the right to vote. I am in counsel right now because he worked so diligently to make sure that we had the right to vote” Chambers says.

Another person who has been impacted by John Lewis’s legacy was Reverend Bill McGill, Senior Pastor of Imani Baptist Temple. He is hoping and is looking forward to the next generation of activists.

“Thank you for your sacred service. Thank you for the synergy that you created. I certainly pray that God has someone in the wings that is ready to speak truth to power in that nonviolent way with bold intensity and integrity” says McGill.

I personally had the pleasure of meeting John Lewis on a number of occasions. As in Atlanta native, I was heavily involved in the community and we crossed paths often. We served food together to the homeless with Hosea Feed the Hungry, we marched together within the city of Atlanta and some of the best moments was just simply being in his presence at the King Center of Non-Violence Social Change when I was intern. He has influenced generations to take action, remain non-violent and to use their voices to speak up for change. Thank you to Mr. John Lewis & may he rest in power forever.

Tony Betton Jr.

Tony Betton Jr. is the ABC21 weekend morning anchor/producer and serves as a multimedia journalist during the week. He is an Atlanta native and Georgia State University graduate. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter (@TonyBettonJrTV) and on Facebook (@TonyBettonJrNews).

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