San Francisco City Hall flags lowered to honor civil rights hero John Lewis

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — The flags at San Francisco City Hall have been lowered halfway to honor Rep. John Lewis, Mayor London Breed announced Saturday.

Lewis, a civil rights icon, died Friday at the age of 80.

Lewis was a Democrat who played a key role in the civil rights movement and marched with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965 in Selma, Alabama. He was the last of the Big Six civil rights activists led by the Rev. King Jr.

Mayor Breed said City Hall will also light red, white and blue Saturday night to honor Congressman Lewis.

Lewis had been suffering from Stage IV pancreatic cancer since December. He was 80.

He was best known for leading some 600 protesters in the 1965 Bloody Sunday march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. At the head of the march, Lewis was knocked to the ground and beaten by Alabama state troopers. His skull was fractured.

Televised images forced the country’s attention to racial oppression in the South.

“He put his whole life into fighting the injustices that have long plagued this country, and he never stopped demonstrating unparalleled strength, perseverance, and dignity,” Mayor Breed wrote on Twitter. “So many of us stand on his shoulders, and our hearts grieve for the loss of a true hero.”

Lewis was a community activist and later went on to become a member of the Atlanta City Council before winning a seat in Congress in 1986. He was also a best-selling author and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, by President Barack Obama.

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