The Bidens, Pences, lawmakers pay their final respects as John Lewis lies in state at U.S. Capitol

Joe Biden pays his final respects to John Lewis
(Image credit: Screenshot/YouTube/AP)

The late civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) was honored in the U.S. Capitol on Monday, lying in state in a flag-draped coffin under the dome of the Capitol Rotunda as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and others commented on his legacy. Earlier in the day, the hearse carrying Lewis passed by the Lincoln Memorial, the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial, and Black Lives Matter Plaza, the site of his final public appearance before dying from cancer July 17.

Pelosi ceremonially handed the floor to Lewis, and a recording of a speech he gave at Emory University in 2014 echoed in the Rotunda, his voice urging graduating seniors to "get in the way" and get in "good trouble, necessary trouble." The lawmakers gave him a standing ovation.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, and his wife, Jill Biden, were among those who then filed past his casket and paid their final respects.

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Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen Pence, also paid their respects Monday evening as the casket was carried outside to the top of the Capitol steps, where the public can say their farewells from the bottom of the steps, face masks required.

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President Trump said earlier Monday he would not be attending any memorial events for Lewis.

Lewis is the first Black legislator to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda. His friend Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) became the first Black lawmaker to lie in state in the Capitol last year, in the National Statuary Hall. The long funeral procession for Lewis started Saturday in his home town of Troy, Alabama, crossed Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge, and will continue on to Atlanta on Wednesday to lie in state in the Georgia Capitol before his funeral at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King preached.

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