tv John Lewis Memorial CNN July 26, 2020 9:00am-10:00am PDT
hello, every one. you're watching very powerful pictures of congressman john lewis. welcome to special coverage of congressman john lewis' memorial services. thank you so much for joini ini me. you're looking at these pictures right here. traveling about a half mile to crossing the edmund pettus bridge one last time. place where lewis who was just 25 years old at the time in 1965
cemented his towering legacy after he helped lead a march to montgomery for voting rights, more than five decades ago. it's also wear lewis was brutally beaten by officers. today, is day two now of a series of ceremonies over the next five days now in cities that helped shape lewis' life. later on today lewis will lie in state at alabama's state capitol in montgomery. that's where we go to right now. victor blackwell is there in montgomery. vict victor, this tribute in totality, six days, beginning yesterday in troy, alabama. that's the birthplace of the congressman and now selma where some of his history was made and history of selma made and the voting rights act history was sparked and made. then to montgomery.
these services are taking us on this journey of lewis's life. tell us what is expected there in montgomery, how people are feeling and i imagine people are riveted with these ceremonies and this moment just like all of us are. >> reporter: yes and after montgomery goes onto atlanta where he served as congressman in the fifth district for 17 terms and he will or lie in state at the rotunda in washington. here along dexter avenue, we're starting to see some people come. the mayor has asked the people to liep the streets to welcome congressman lewis. we're starting to see people do that after watching that tribute at the edmund pettus bridge. we know it's 42 miles here. once he arrives, the governor will receive him at the capitol building where he will lie in state and the public is welcome to come and visit.
a very different reception than he received early on. even before bloody sunday in 165 and 1961 when we came here as a freedom rider when that bus arrived at the greyhound terminal, not far from where i am, those freedom riders were beaten and bloody but they did not stop there. freedom summer happened and they went onto mississippi. when they '61, went to rockhill, south carolina, there was a man who beat john lewis. he was a member of the kkk, decades later, wilson came to apologize to congressman lewis and he accepted that apology. what we have not talked about yet in this tribute to the congressman is the element of forgiveness, which he offered to those people in the late '50s, early '60s, who beat him as he
went along trying to register people to vote and get equal accommodations at public companies and businesses. when he comes here today, we're expecting this crowd to grow. we're expecting a long line as we saw in selma yesterday, for people dom ato come and pay the prpts and the governor will receive the state's gave rfavor son, congressman john lewis. >> i wonder in talking to people at montgomery, what have people expressed about their personal thoughts on the lake congressman. he was so accessible. immediately following his death, he would see on social media and beyond people would just start posting their pictures with him, which really helped underscore how he understood his importance to people. he would take the time to converse to take a photograph. he knew his place in history.
i wonder the people there in montgomery, they know about the place that montgomery has made. i wonder what they have expressed over the last few days. >> listen, what we heard from so many people who knew him personally anl only knew of his public persona, i've heard so many people say, it was a good man. he was a good man. those who knew him through television and from his place in history but nose who knew him fordecades, it's the consistency paired with the humility that he simply said when you see something, say something, do something. we have talked a lot about good trouble. we should remember that john lewis, dr. king, hosea williams, these were revolutionaries. in the context we speak about them today, they are exalted but 50, 60 years ago they were not. they know what he put on the line for equality, for dignity.
in a time in which it was a revolutionary act but in the scope of history, in the context of the last 50, 60 years, they know that he suffered not only physical injuries as he was beaten at these different stops. we know what happened at the edmund pettus bridge of bloody sunday but he went to jail and would stay there. part of the philosophy, part of the strategy of the sit in movements was to fill the jails. he would give up his time and energy leveriaving troy, workin with dr. king and gave his life to the mission of dignity, not just for black people but all people who felt themselves out of reach of the american dream. out of reach of the dignity and respect and honor an equality that some in the country have experienced and has not been afforded to all. when we hear people say he's a good man, that's what they are talking about in simple words. they honor and respect and understood what congressman
lewis sacrificed for this generation and future generations. >> a good man who loved good trouble. what we're looking at right now, it appears as though the cassette of john lewis is being moved into another vehicle for its journey to montgomery for that more than 40 mile journey, as you put it. let's go to martin who has been in tl there at the foot of the bridge, where the street, broad street was lined by a number of people who came out. the numbers far smaller than would typically be expected ffr this occasion but because of covid and family of the congressman really imploring people to maintain social distance as best they could. we'll be able to speak
personally about his relationship with congressman and how he worked so hard, dill gently for years to make sure that museum would come to fruition. we're looking at these imamgs right now from the caskkacasket. one last time for the late congressman now entering a hearse on its way to montgomery. martin, to you first and what people have witnessed there this morning, this midday. >> reporter: this was a moment people had to come see in person. the family stressed they did not want people to travel because of the concerns for their health. that said, there is still people that came along. talked to a woman who came from almost 1,000 miles. she drove from texas. took her two days but she was
adamant she had to be here. she made it her lifelong dream to meet john lewis. that did not happen but she was here to wish him well as he crossed over. there was another family that had decided late afternoon they had to be here. they grove from gainsville. got here at 3:30 in the morning. set up on the side of the road to watch the procession go by. on and on and on. there's lots of people from selma who cross that bridge every single day, several times day to go to work or go to montgomery. today crossing that bridge meant something far stronger than just a commute. every person who is lining the street, every one of them could tell you a personal reason why they were here. john lewis was the man but he changed all lives. many people just wanted to pay their respects as the casket went by and people were saying thank you. there were others that broke out in hymns. there are others who simply wanted to capture the moment with a photograph. it was interesting it was a
diverse crowd. black, white, hispanic. it was also diverse by age. there were a lot of families, younger people that were here. so important to john lewis because many see this as a moment where a torch has to be passed. it's clear the young people understood who john lewis was because in many ways, he was young when he did so much such as go across this bridge and face the danger he did with those who went with him. for so many reasons, people wanted to be here and bear witness and watch it for themselves and they did. i will point out compared to yesterday, which was a very personal kind of farewell that we saw in his hometown, this was a very poignant moment on that bridge. >> indeed. as you look at these images and you think about the journey of congressman john lewis, the journey of the fight for
equality. one what are the thoughts that come to mind for you ? >> i think of how blessed we were to have someone like john lewis who dreamed of a america that was yet to be. i think what was so powerful about the congressman is not only did he dream of a america but he thought how to help america make that change and then to tally do it himself, risking his life crossing edmund pettus bridge and being arrested nearly 40 times. in some ways he symbolizes the best of what america can be, which is place that really strives for fairness and recognizes the challenge to be the country, to embrace every one and i take such great joy from spending time with john lewis. >> i can't wait to hear more about the kind of time that you were able to spend with congressman lewis. cornell williams brooks also with us now. former president of the naacp.
i understand that the naacp is planning to hold a virtual march on washington next month. similar to the one lewis led back in 1965. explain to me the importance of the organization doing that, particularly at this time. >> what's so important is that the naacp is representing the legacy of john lewis that yet lives, that speaks to the present and speaks to the future. to march in washington in the name of john lewis, in the name of his sacrifices and the name of the blood he literally shed, that baptized the edmund pettus bridge, that literally created a pathway to freedom speaks to not only the past, the present and the future. it's critical.
the voting rights act was the most effective civil rights statute. it was brought to being within days, months of john lewis nearly laying down his life on the edmund pettus bridge. to march in washington for the right to vote in 2020, recognizing what john lewis did in 1965 and the years between 1965 and 2020 is such a wonderful testament. such a powerful testimony and witness, bearing witness to his ongoing legacy. >> it represents the journey, the set backs and the continuation of how much further the road has yet to go and the hiccups along the way, roadblock, if you will and victor, so much of lewis's life really was shaped by his mentor, dr. martin luther king junior in
which congressman lewis sent him letter when he was a teenager just sharing how enamored he was and fascinated with. the next thing there would be a relationship that would be struck. now we're seeing these parallels in the passing of congressman lewis. his body on a cason modelled after what dr. king had for his funeral and one can't help but think about john f. kennedy as well and the cason. talk about the significance there. >> dr. king said are you the boy from troy. he said yes, sir. he said his full name.
from that moment, just 17 years old started relationship that went until the end of king's life but, of course, his work in the senate, his work -- in the house. his work across the country, he brought that legacy with him. he brought the credentials of having put shoe leather to the ground and gone across the mississippi delta trying to register people in the early '60, in the mid '60s to vote as well. we talk about the imagery, there's also the relationship with robert f. kennedy as well. congressman lewis talked about being in rfk's hotel room when he was shot at the hotel in the ballroom there while campaigning in california. it was at that moment he thought that potentially he could serve, he could run for office. his first run was unsuccessful but worked in the atlanta city council and in the early '80s, ran against his friend, fellow civil rights activist julian
bond for the seat in the fifth district of at lan tlanta and h held the seat ever since. the imagery was the same. the commitment was the same. the wap the men will be remembered will be the same as well. >> fill in some other blanks for us. the markers of history and help us, put us into the place and the mind of the young congressman lewis at that moment because he had such great hope in bobby kennedy. he was so inspired by him and after that assassination, congressman lewis was nearly desponde despondent. almost losing hope about all he envisioned and what roped him into this cause. then sort of a moment where he said, okay, i can see my place, perhaps, in public service.
>> i think one of the great strengths of john lewis is his resiliency. is the fact that at a moment of despair he recognized there was still work to do. there were things he could do that he could carry on the legacy of drchl king and bobby kennedy. most importantly what he recognized is he had to commit to think of strategically how do you change a country and his involvement in congress was so powerful because it was both about ensuring that the african-americans got the rights they need but also he raeldsed that his job was to see that americans embrace them all. he became a champion of women's rights and gay rights. he's standing with black lives mattering, passinggrateful to bt
and pass it onto a new generation. >> martin luther king passed the baton the him by inviting him and congressman lewis would understand the gravity of his position, his place in history and do that. he's done that along the way many times. passing the baton but there was something very cementing about doing that on the black lives matter plaza knowing that his fate was -- it was soon to be reunited with dr. martin luther king and so many other civil rights foot soldiers. >> in some ways what's so powerful about the congressman is he understood history. he didn't look at it as something nostalgic but a tool that you use to motivate people, to inspire, to continue people
to struggle ahead. the fact he stood on that black lives plaza recognizing his own connection to the past, that he wanted the new generation to recognize, bring your own vision, your own ideals but you're standing on the shoulders and you have a commitment to fulfill those dreams of so many generations. >> martin, we're looking at the images again of that casom making its way across the bridge. extraordinary imagery there. his correlation with the kas kets. if you could, kind of replay for us as we're looking at the images being replay for us what that moment was like for the crowd that did show up there on that broad street at foot of the
bridge. >> first of all, every one knew where it came from. that's the church where the marches have been organized. as it came around the corner t crowd got quiet because this was that moment. it was john lewis and it was his final crossing. a lot of people had come to travel, to get a photo, to get one last look at the man and reflect upon what he meant upon their lives. as they got to the very beginning of it, people broke out in song. there were others that began waving, saying thank you. it became a personal farewell. then, of course, after that, the carriage moved on and began across the bridge. it was for the most part silent
because this was then john lewis moment. this was the moment of the ages and his crossing over. symbolism in so many ways. recognizing 1965, recognizing 2020 and his passing and life that is gone and the changes in america since. we all have bridges to cross. we all have to face dangers on the other side at times in our lives. every one could feel a connection to john lewis, what he did, what he's done and why they will want to remember him all. >> have this edmund pettus bridge narenamed john lewis. he had been asked about that several times and didn't see that was necessary or fitting. is that because, as his brothers
and sisters mentioned yesterday at a memorial service, time and time again, he was so humble. >> i think it had everything to do with his, not just his political humility but a moral humility. john lewis understood profoundly that the sacrifice of selma was more than the heroic sacrifice of a person but the heroic sacrifice of many people, a community, a race. the foot soldiers of selma. he, i was mindful of amelia boynton on that bridge. it's a measure of his mu mihumi. when we think about renaming the bridge, we have to think of
renaming the voting rights act. a restored voting rights act. this moment of recognizing his legacy in the present is more than putting names on school, on bridges, on legislation. it's about naming and claiming his legacy in the present for the future. in other words, securing voting rights. in other words, getting into good trouble in his name. like those school children in virginia who changed the name of their school from robert e. lee to john robert lewis. that's what this moment is about. his name is important, his name is most important when it is on our lips speaking to our ideals, speaking to our aspirations, speaking to the future and that's a measure of his humility but also the magnitude and measure of his life. >> and his name attached to change. that is what john lewis is
emblematic of. lonnie, talk about change. the late congressman was able to twist a lot of arms, do a lot of lobbying, convincing to get that african-american museum of culture and history in that very place where it is. that's where your relationship really took on a whole new level. describe that experience and what those memories have been like. >> i think there was something amazing about john lewis' resiliency. he introduced legislation for nearly two decades. he worked the political system. he finally got the support that allowed president bush to sign the legislation in 2003 and yet for 14 years beyond that, he worked with me to help to create that museum. i mean he worked.
up with he said you're a historian so i want you to feel the past. i didn't understand what he said. he said go with me on one of my pilgrimages through alabama and mississippi. to see it through his eyes, gave ali a historian of how important it was not because it happened but it has a continuing relevancy. one of the things so powerful to me is john lewis really was committed to building a museum that would help america remember all of its history in away that was painful but other times it was ripe with resiliency. working with john lewis for 14 years was a gift. every time i needed something, he would say, what do you need and you forget that up with way this is john lewis. i was so -- it's john lewis but he was somebody who said i'm a worker for change and part of that change is building this
museum so let me help you craft a place that will change america forever. that's what i think he saying. >> what a legacy. victor is in montgomery. that will be the next stop for the casket of the congressman. victor, what will happen. can you paint a picture a little bit more on what will happen in montgomery. >> as the motorcade travels from selma, the 42 miles to where i am now. it will travel up dexter avenue which is the same road in which 1965 on march 25th, the thousands of people who walked for the second march after what happened the edmund pettus bridge on bloody sunday, the same path, the same road will come here to the alabama state capital. the governor will welcome. there will be a short ceremony once the congressman's casket
roo arrives here and then there will be four hours of people that have come to the capital to pay their respects to pass through. there will be soecial distancin and masks required because of the mask mandate here in alabama but also because of the general pandemic that's happening here. right across is the church where dr. king was a pastor. there will likely be some people there to celebrate the congressman. there's so much that talks about or highlights the progress that this country has made but if conversation about congressman lewis, we know he was telling
people who were salespeopling with him. we know after the weakening of the voting rights act in 2013, his focus was there as well. he died ploobelieving one day t country would become the beloved community. in the honoring of congressman lewis as we're seeing people now start to come out and start to wait as they watched on television what happened in selma and they know the travel will come here, we know that will be on their minds. there was a lot done in his life and he contributed to much of it. >> the late congressman contributions and accomplishments in the legislature are immense. we'll delve into some of that a bit later. thank you so much.
we'll take a short break. stay with me as we continue to watch these incredible moments from selma, alabama where congressman john lewis casket makes a final procession over the edmund pettus bridge. all this during our special coverage. ok everyone, our mission is to provide complete, balanced nutrition for strength and energy. whoo-hoo! great tasting ensure with 9 grams of protein,
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>> tech: so if you have auto glass damage, stay safe with safelite. >> singers: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace. ♪ let's talk a bout the coronavirus pandemic. it's hit another grim milestone as cases and deaths continue to surge. globally over 16 million people have been infected by the disease. the u.s. is responsible for a
quarter of those cases. another 900 americans lost their lives on saturday alone. marking the first day in nearly a week that deaths did not top 1,000. new models project 175,000 american deaths by mid-august. there are some new signs of hope. trials for phase three of a potential coronavirus vaccine will begin. volunteers from across the country are expected the take part. it comes as lawmakers in washington scramble to come up with a new relief package. a $600 unemployment benefit expires on friday. it has been a critical lifeline for millions of americans who lost their jobs due to the pandemic. in state of florida adding 9,200 deaths today. that bringing the total to about
420,000 and almost 6,000 dead. it's clear that florida is in crisis mode right now. this weekend it surpassed the numbers that we saw play out here in new york. >> reporter: the number of people being hospitalized in florida up a staggering 79% since the july 4th holiday. nearly half of florida's covid deaths are linked to long term care facile tills. at least 50 florida hospitals reporting they reached icu capacity. >> every day in miami dade county about 200 people go into our hospitals because they are too sick. 20 to 30 of them will likely die. a good portion will end up two weeks in icu and another portion will be on ventilators and
survivor. >> reporter: despite that surging case numbers there's a push to reopen bars in florida. we're also learning heartbreaking details about florida's youngest victim. she was just nine years old when she died last week. florida now tops new york in cases. texas now sits close behind new york with more than 380,000 cases of the coronavirus. texas saturday amp reported more than 8100 in cases and 168 new deaths. >> we have reported 386 people who have died in the city. not the county but in the city of houston. 151 of those deaths came just in the month of july. we have had more people to die in july than in march, april, may, june comcombined. >> reporter: leading nation in confirmed cases, california.die coronavirus in california. the most deaths in a single day.
arizona hits its second highest daily death toll on saturday. thousands not only in that state face a cut off in critically needed unemployment benefits as congress fights over the detail offense of relief bill that could cause pain for people in arizona and other states. >> we're all about making sure the working class of the country are taken care of. we're not going to stick to strict ideology and in the process somehow destroy family incomes and family stability. a massive push to get kids back into the classroom. the krrkcdc has guidelines comi down hard in favor of opening schools. families and communities are weighing whether to send their children back for in-person learning. >> for parents it's important to prepare and know where your kid will go every day. if we have to dial back on that, like we did in the spring, this
could be really, really devastating for parents. we want to forecast what the best possible knowledge of what the futures actually going to look like rather than what administration political p priorities or for what they want them to look like. >> reporter: coronavirus symptoms can stimarouck around weeks in those otherwise healthy. >> the question remains what to do about these increased numbers. for example, mayors in los angeles and houston are considering a second stay at home order to try to drop some of these numbers. that leads to the other ongoing deba debate, the orders they are issuing are unenforceable because of what they are getting from their capital, from their governors. >> thank you so much. we'll check back with you. appreciate it. let's talk more about all of this.
thank you for being us. . thank you for having me. such a somber day. it's a celebration of life in congressman john lewis. this last week a 9-year-old girl died from coronavirus. she was the youngest to die from the disease in that state but her death comes as many are pushing for schools to reopen in just a matter of weeks. >> sending our kid backseat to school in circumstances where they could get a contagious and deadly disease. what we're forced to be thinking about is how to protect our young people while doing the obvious thing of helping them secure a cognitive, social,
emotional future through education which is how we send our kids to school in first place. this is less about what happens inside school districts and has a lot more to do with what's happening in the communities in which people live. the highest -- >> the interaction between people. >> exactly. >> admiral brett said when it comes to reopening schools, it's not a one size fit all approach. how should districts assess whether schools should be open or not. >> we know the risk of transmission gets higher after the age of ten. where you're talk about it. in community where is there's high spread. the likelihood of being able to open and open safely is lower. when you're talking about young
dhir children, it's a bit lower risk. community vs to set a standard and say above and beyond this transmission rate. we're not going to happen open classrooms and below this transmission rate we'll be thinking about it and different protocols for kids of different ages. >> there's a lot of talk about testing in the u.s. while it's true, the u.s. is testing more than it has in the past results are taking days, sometimes more than a week. listen to what admiral said about that this morning. >> we're never going to be happy with testing until we get turn around times within 24 hours. i would be happy with point of cure testing everywhere. we're not that yet. we're doing everything we can to do that. where there's an outbreak, where surge testing there, supplying
the public health laboratoriela. i work with acla every day. i call their ceos. those are the big labs. they have pooling that was just improved certified last week. >> what do you think still needs to be done on testing? >> let me say this, to admiral's point, it's important and critical to be able to test folks in places where people are actively sick in their hospitals and clinics and also in nursing homes. why can't we get testing in the community? if we know it's spread by people that don't have symptoms. it's so critical we're testing people that don't have symptoms because question do the contact tracing that's so critical to bring transmission down.
the legacy we're celebrating today of representative lewis, it has to continue as this disease marks it in tis pdispar on black bodies. >> thank you so much for that. appreciate it. coming up, as congressman john lewis, the casket of the late congressman cross the edmund pettus bridge one last time, we will look back at bloody sunday and remember a moment in time that became a turning point in the civil rights movement. ♪ come on in, we're open. ♪ all we do is hand you the bag. simple. done.
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welcome back. moments ago congressman john lewis, crossed the edmund pettus bridge for the last time since his first pilgrimage in 1965, lewis would return many times. every year to mark bloody sunday. he would call it like a renewal and the bridge would become a symbol of lewis's lifelong fight for civil rights from the first crossing 55 years ago to his final journal knee today. abby phillip looks at the decades long connection between mr. lewis and the bridge he nearly died on. >> reporter: john lewis skull was broken by white police officers as african-american activists pushing for voting rights crossed the edmund pettus bridge in march 1965.
>> this is sacred. this is hallow. this is where people gave some blood. i gave a little blood on this bridge. >> reporter: participants were attempting to march from selma to montgomery. 17 people were hospitalized including lewis. this could become known as bloody sunday. lewis would always show the same commitment and fight he demonstrated on the bridge that day. >> 53 years after you all marched on this bridge, why is it so important to come back and keep coming back every year. >> this is the place they gave us the voting rights act. made it possible for hundreds and thousands of millions of people to be able to participate in a democratic process. sdp y you cannot give up. you cannot give in. you will make it. >> reporter: this past march while suffering from stage four cancer, lewis as determined as ever, traveled to selma twice to
mark the march's 55th anniversary and was still pushipush ing decades later. >> 55 years ago, a few of god's children attempted to march across this bridge. we were beaten, tear gassed. i thought i was going to die on this bridge. somehow and some way god almighty kept me here. we must go out and vote like we never, ever voted before. ♪ we shall overcome ♪ we shall overcome >> every poignant moment, every step of the way. abby phillip, thank you so much. coming up, how do you bring millions of children back to school safely?
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they're off... in the kentucky derby. rory mcllroy is a two time champion at east lake. touchdown! only mahomes. the big events are back and xfinity is your home for the return of live sports. it's the big question for educators and families across the country. how do you bring millions of kids back to school safely. we go inside one child care center in new york that could be a model for schools. >> reporter: psis 128 has been closed since march but every day at 7:00 a.m. it's doors open to over 130 kids in queens new york. it's now a child care center like others that have stayed
open since the beginning of the pandemic for the kids of front line workers opinion every one from corrections officers to nurses. >> it's basically been a god send. >> reporter: the ymca have managed to watch over tens of how sands of kids across the u.s. with schools closed using strategies that could prove instructive for school districts coming up with their own plans to keep kids safe this fall. >> we worked in partnership to create this culture of safety. >> reporter: the local ys have used space to their advantage and gotten kraecreative. >> we use hula hoops to distance yourselves. >> reporter: as soon as children walk in the door, their temperature is checked as they tell their parents good-bye. masks once only worn by adults are now required for every one throughout the entire building. classrooms are also limited in size to only nine kids at a time.
sprayed down with an industrial strength cleaning solution. >> we tell the kids how to soon wash. when ever they change activities they hand wash. when they lever the class and come back they hand wash. >> reporter: if a child becomes sick at some point later on in the day. >> we have isolation rooms where we bring them immediately. they've given us covid kits and nurses will garb up in the gowns and extra protection and will call home and the student will stay many that room until the parents come and pick them up. >> reporter: so far their plan is working. >> we have not had one covid case in the whole time that we have been here. not one. >> reporter: the model is working so well, it's led some school districts to turn to child care centers for guidance. officials on the ground caution that getting kids back this classrooms for a regular school day comes with its own challenges. >> we had families coming at all different times.
that doesn't happen in schools. they all come at the same time. manage the line that would be out the door trying to keep them distanced and checking their temperatures. while the safety protocols are awesome, the cleaning products, and just the procedures are a model, it's not the same as school. hello, every one. as we remember the late civil rights icon ljohn lewis, we wan show you a variety of pictures and moments we have seen today, including one final crossing over the edmund pettus bridge in selma, alabama. lewis' body taken over the bridge. then he was greeted by family members and alabama state