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John Lewis surprises marchers on Pettus Bridge in Selma

March 1, 2020 Selma: U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Atlanta, is helped walking from the Edmund Pettus Bridge while making an appearance and speech during Selma's er-enactment of Bloody Sunday on Sunday, March 1, 2020, in Selma. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com
March 1, 2020 Selma: U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Atlanta, is helped walking from the Edmund Pettus Bridge while making an appearance and speech during Selma's er-enactment of Bloody Sunday on Sunday, March 1, 2020, in Selma. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

U.S. Rep. John Lewis participated in today’s commemoration of the 55th anniversary of the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

Voting rights activists, including Lewis, were beaten by law enforcement on March 7, 1965, when they crossed the bridge as part of a voting rights march to Montgomery, Ala.

Each year, Lewis and other civil rights leaders, plus throngs of others, have re-enacted the march. This year, his participation was in doubt because he is undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer.

Lewis greeted marchers, including former Georgia candidate for Gov. Stacey Abrams and Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., at the apex of the bridge.

“I’m inspired to come back to this bridge and to see so many people who are gathered here today,” he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Several candidates running for the Democratic nomination for president also marched across the bridge during Sunday’s events.