‘Honor him by getting in good trouble’ | John Lewis’ funeral’s memorable quotes

Three former presidents, a former Atlanta mayor, a Democratic US Senate candidate and the most powerful woman in Congress paid tribute to John Lewis on Thursday, but a 12-year-old boy from Tennessee may have been more eloquent than everyone else.

Tybre Faw read Lewis’ favorite poem, “Invictus,” at the Thursday funeral at Ebenezer Baptist Church, then said, “John Lewis was my hero and my friend. Let’s honor him by getting into good trouble.”


Faw met Lewis in Selma, Alabama, in March 2018. He was standing outside a church where Lewis was attending a service with a sign that read, “Thank you Rep. John Lewis. You have shown me how to have courage.” Lewis and Faw then walked across the Edmund Pettis bridge later that day. He and Faw had maintained a friendship since then.

Here are some other memorable quotes from Lewis’ funeral.

“Here lies a true American patriot who risked his life for the hope and promise of democracy.”

— Ebenezer Baptist Church Senior Pastor Rev. Raphael Warnock, Georgia Democratic Senate candidate

“He will live forever in the hearts of Americans who act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with their God.”

“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.”

— Former President George W. Bush

“He made plenty of good trouble, but he had an uncanny ability to heal troubled waters. He thought an open hand was better than clinched fists.”

“It’s important for all of us to loved him to remember that he was a human being, a man born with strengths he made the most of, like many don’t. Born with weakness he worked to beat down, when many can’t. “It made him, in my mind, even greater.”

— Former President Bill Clinton

“We always knew he worked on the side of the angels. And now he is with them.”

— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

“If we would honor and celebrate John Lewis’s life let us then recommit our souls, our hearts, our minds, our spirits to dismantle the wrongs in our midst.”

Rev. James Lawson Jr.

“John wasn’t on the right side of history. History was on the right side of John Lewis.”

“John Lewis will stand beside Gandhi, and King and Mandela as one of the great transformative freedom fighters of human kind.”

— Former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell

“Throughout his remarkable life, John has been a blessing to countless people, and we are proud to be among those whose lives he has touched. While his achievements are enjoyed by all Americans, we Georgians know him as our neighbor, friend, and representative. His enormous contributions will continue be an inspiration for generations to come.”

— Former President Jimmy Carter, via message