Lewis, 80, died on July 17 after a six-month battle with most cancers.
His casket, accompanied by a army honor guard, arrived draped in an American flag at Troy College forward of “A Service Celebrating ‘The Boy from Troy'” on Saturday.
Troy Mayor Jason Reeves applauded Lewis’ power at “confronting Alabama state troopers,” throughout his time as an activist in the course of the Civil Rights motion.
“And now Alabama state troopers will lead his physique round this state as we rejoice his life,” Reeves stated.
The occasion, with deliberate speeches from two of his 10 siblings– his brother, Henry “Grant” Lewis, and sister, Rosa Mae Tyner– and a rendition of “Hero,” from Sheila Jackson, pays homage to Lewis’ historical past within the metropolis that set off his activism alongside Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1958.
“The boy from Troy”
It was over 60 years in the past that Dr. King met with the then 18-year-old “boy from Troy” who had hopes of attending an all-white college.
The varsity — Troy College — is the campus to host the primary of a number of proceedings for Lewis starting Saturday.
Lewis grew up in Pike County, Ala., and was an aspiring minister.
The son of sharecroppers, he labored alongside his siblings on his household’s land, tending the fields and animals. The younger Lewis would preach to the chickens to follow his craft.
As a result of coronavirus pandemic, which has worsened in Lewis’ house state of Alabama, the household has requested that everybody put on a face masks to forestall mourners and onlookers from spreading the virus.
Seats on the college service have been spaced six ft aside to abide by social distancing guidelines.
“Get in good hassle, needed hassle”
Lewis’s dying comes amidst a nationwide reckoning between legislation enforcement and their communities, as folks everywhere in the nation protest in opposition to racial injustice dealing with Black and Hispanic folks.
As an activist, Lewis himself was arrested and jailed dozens of instances and attacked in periods of civil unrest.
At an occasion in March to commemorate the anniversary of the bloody upheaval between police and protesters in 1965 on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, the place Lewis and different demonstrators have been crushed with golf equipment by state troopers, and his cranium was fractured, Lewis famously stated: “Get in good hassle, needed hassle, and redeem the soul of America.”
The bridge will probably be one other monumental cease Sunday on Lewis’ journey earlier than his physique lies in repose on the Alabama Capitol.
He will probably be flown to Washington, D.C. on Monday and his casket will make a number of stops all through town, together with on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial close to the Nationwide Mall. He’ll then lie in state on the U.S. Capitol, with a public viewing.
The consideration to put within the nation’s Capitol Rotunda has been given to greater than 30 distinguished figures in American historical past, together with and most lately the late Sen. John McCain and late Rep. Elijah Cummings.
Lewis will then be flown to Atlanta, the place he’ll lie in state on the Georgia Capitol Wednesday, earlier than his ultimate internment on Thursday.
The Related Press contributed to this report.