Former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama paid tribute to Rep. John Lewis at his funeral on Thursday. In his eulogy, Obama said someday Lewis will be remembered as one of America’s founding fathers.
GEORGE W. BUSH: We the people, including congressmen and presidents, can have differing views on how to perfect our union while sharing the conviction that our nation, however flawed, is, at heart, a good and noble one. We live in a better and nobler country today because of John Lewis and his abiding faith in the power of God, in the power of democracy, and in the power of love to lift us all to a higher ground.
The story that began in Troy isn't ending here today, nor is the work. John Lewis lives forever in his Father's house, and he will live forever in the hearts of Americans who act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with their god. May the flights of angels see John Lewis to his rest, and may God bless the country he loved.
BILL CLINTON: John Lewis was many things, but he was a man, a friend in sunshine and a storm, a friend who would walk the stony roads that he asked you to walk, that would brave the chastening rods he asked you to be whipped by. Always keeping his eyes on the prize, always believing none of us will be free until all of us are equal.
I just loved him. I always will. And I'm so grateful that he stayed true to form. He's gone up yonder and left us with marching orders. I suggest, since he's close enough to God to keep his eye on the sparrow and us, we salute, suit up, and march on.
BARACK OBAMA: What a radical idea, what a revolutionary notion, this idea that any of us ordinary people, a young kid from Troy can stand up to the powers and principalities and say, no, this isn't right. This isn't true. This isn't just. We can do better.
On the battlefield of justice, Americans like John, Americans like Reverends Lowrey and CT Vivian, two other patriots that we lost this year, liberated all of us that many Americans came to take for granted. America was built by people like them. America was built by John Lewises.
He as much as anyone in our history brought this country a little bit closer to our highest ideals. And someday when we do finish that long journey towards freedom, when we do form a more perfect union, whether it's years from now or decades or even if it takes another two centuries, John Lewis will be a founding father of that fuller, fairer, better America.