It was a very fitting tribute to John Lewis.
I was able to stand on the Senate side, next to the statue of former President Gerald Ford. I was moved by the tributes of the members and for the third time that I can recall in this Capitol, I cried, not out of sadness but out of joy in celebration of Congressman (John) Lewis’ powerful legacy. America has made progress, to be sure, but we clearly have more to do.
Congressman Lewis was the person closest to being in the mold of Dr. (Martin Luther) King that I met in my lifetime. I wish that I could have had lunch with Dr. King or Nelson Mandela. Well for me, this little Black boy from Statesville NC, having the opportunity to meet and chat with Congressman Lewis meant the world to me. I am thankful and grateful for all that he did to make my opportunities possible. I have been able to walk these halls as a professional staffer, and experience other opportunities that I could never have imagined when I was young, because Congressman Lewis put his life on the line to ensure access to jobs and opportunities for Americans who look like me.
I thank you and honor you and I look forward to teaching your lessons to others who come behind me.
Brian Summers is a Statesville native and Senior Advisor in U.S. Senate and former appointee of George W. Bush.
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