The February 2nd issue of the New Yorker magazine reported that after he was sworn in as 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama honored John Lewis – Georgia’s eleven-term representative, and the only surviving speaker from the March on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his eloquent “I Have A Dream” speech.
“After absorbing the thudding roar from the Mall, Obama glanced to his right. He spotted there on the steps, a few feet away, John Lewis ….. “Congratulations Mr. President,” Lewis whispered in his ear. Obama smiled at the sound of that and said, Thank you, John. I’ll need your prayers.” “You’ll have them, Mr. President. That, and all my support.”
John Lewis’ caliber of support is legendary. He led the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Alabama. The state troopers on the other side of the bridge used whips, a hose wrapped in barbed wire, horses, and nightsticks to punish Lewis and his colleagues who crossed the bridge that day. The first nightstick came down on John Lewis’ skull.
The Civil Rights Movement was lucky to have John Lewis as one of its leaders. The Foster Care Re-Envisioning Movement needs someone of his caliber to help usher in a new era for children in this country – a bold visionary who believes it is time to erase the stigma of a foster care placement and makes it happen.
Lewis has said about our country’s current problems, “…the problems are so big. None of them can be solved in a day or a year. That’s the way it was with the civil rights movement. We play our part and fulfill our role.” Let us each find our parts and play our roles – for our children and our country.
The New Yorker says that “At the luncheon following the swearing-in ceremony, Lewis approached President Obama with a commemorative photograph and asked him to sign it. The President wrote, “Because of you, John. Barack Obama.”
Thank you John Lewis for the part you played in moving our country forward. May thousands of Americans follow your outstanding example and take the necessary steps required to ensure that our nation’s children live with dignity.