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Work continues to keep memory of John Lewis alive

John Lewis will be honored at a park in Atlanta next month. The civil rights leader, long advocated for getting into what he called "Good Trouble," for the advancement of human rights. News4Jax reporter Jenese Harris is joining us with a look at Lewis' lasting legacy.

ATLANTA – Congressman John Lewis fought for equality and civil rights most of his life up until his very last breath.

Lewis was known as an activist and politician that believed in getting into “good trouble” for the advancement of human rights.

The late congressman died of pancreatic cancer last year before he could be honored in a monumental way.

As the late congressman rests, the work continues to keep his memory alive.

Beginning his bout with segregation in the United States but especially in the south. Though non-violent, he was still battered and bruised along with so many others at the Edmund Pettus Bridge during the civil rights movement of the 60s.

Before his death Lewis served as a congressman in Georgia’s 5th district for 33 years, fighting for justice in Washington D.C. Jacksonville’s A. Phillip Randolph was among the many civil rights heroes he knew.

Rodney Cook Senior Peace Park in Atlanta is where a statue of Lewis will be dedicated and installed. Organizers hoped Lewis would still be alive to see it in the park.

“He was a good friend of my father and also a good friend of mine,” said Rodney Mims Cook Jr., CEO of the National Monuments Foundation.

Cook is heading the project, a final wish from his father Rodney Cook Sr. to rebuild a 19th-century Olmsted-designed Mims-Cook family park.

Lewis will be among the sculptures of several other Atlanta leaders including Dr. Martin Luther King Junior and Ralph Abernathy.

Though Lewis passed before he could see the installation, Cook says the civil rights leader saw the design last year.

“It’s also something he was personally involved in he reviewed the images of the statue and he told me he felt like he was looking in a mirror,” Cook said.

In just a couple of weeks, those that knew Lewis or ever wished to meet him can see him face to face at the park standing tall like an unwavering tower, just as he stood for civil rights and equality.

Organizers had hoped to dedicate the statue on congressman John Lewis’ birthday, Feb. 21. He would’ve been 81 years old. The installation is expected to happen in 45 days.

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