The late Rep. John Lewis will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda on Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced.
There will be an invite-only ceremony Monday afternoon and later that night and Tuesday for a public viewing.
Due to health concerns related to COVID-19, the civil rights icon will be placed at the top of the Capitol’s East Front steps, where the public can view from the East Plaza. Masks and social distancing will be strictly enforced.
The Lewis family has not yet publicly announced specific plans for any memorial arrangements beyond the Capitol viewing, though there will be a procession through Washington, D.C., to allow the public to remain socially distant.
They are also requesting those attending the services do not travel from across the country to attend, due to the pandemic.
Mr. Lewis died Friday at the age of 80 after battling pancreatic cancer. A representative from Georgia’s 5th District, he had served in Congress for more than 30 years.
He was a civil rights legend, having worked with Martin Luther King Jr., and was assaulted as both an original Freedom Rider and one of the marchers in 1965 on the bridge in Selma, Alabama.
To “lie in state” is one of the highest honors for American heroes.
Mr. Lewis is the second African American elected official given the honor, and only the fourth African American to “lie in state” in American history.
The last was Mr. Lewis’ colleague and close friend, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland — another civil rights icon — who died in October 2019 from long-standing health issues.
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