Congressman John Lewis
"Marching with Icons"
President Obama and the First Family joined Congressman Lewis and thousands of Americans in Selma, Alabama to honor the sacrifice and bravery of the men and women who bled there in 1965 in support of voting rights for all African Americans.
“I first met John when I was in law school, and I told him then that he was one of my heroes. Years later, when I was elected a U.S. Senator, I told him that I stood on his shoulders.”
-President Barack Obama
John Lewis led over 600 peaceful, orderly protestors across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama on March 7, 1965. They intended to march from Selma to Montgomery to demonstrate the need for voting rights in the state. The marchers were attacked by Alabama state troopers in a brutal confrontation that became known as "Bloody Sunday” which was televised around the world. Martin Luther King called for civil rights supporters to come to Selma for a second march. They boldly went back to the same bridge, stronger and bolder.
Congressman John Lewis walked into his Atlanta office to this contrasting creation. He immediately became overwhelmed with emotion as he examined the portrait and the story within. He immediately had to board a plane heading back to Capital Hill and all he could think about was this painting and the artist that constructed it. In response, Congressman Lewis wrote this letter to show his appreciation. Hess was humbled by this gesture and will be forever grateful for the work of the late Congressman John Lewis.