ATLANTA - As the funeral procession for Congressman John Lewis passed by the state Capitol Thursday afternoon, people snapped photos and wiped tears from their eyes.
"I work in the courthouse and if it wasn't for the freedom fighters like John Lewis, I couldn't walk in those doors," said Vinyl Baker. "So, we owe him a debt that we can never repay."
Congressman Lewis laid in state in the Capitol rotunda Wednesday afternoon where thousands of people lined up to pay their respects.
After passing the Capitol building, the procession continued past Atlanta City Hall, where Lewis served as a city councilman in the early 1980s. He was first elected in November 1981 and served until 1986 when he stepped down to run for Congress. He then served the people of Georgia's 5th District for more than three decades.
"It's wonderful that people are getting a chance to read about his life and hear his story and to know the significance of John Lewis," said Tracy Flanagan, who works near the procession route.
Firefighters from the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department used two ladder trucks to hoist an American Flag over Washington Street for Congressman Lewis to pass under.
"It was surreal and it was very touching to just witness a man with such great honor and a man that's done so much for the country," said Donna Brougton. "To just watch his final moments, it was amazing."
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