Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) choked up at an event Saturday outside the Jackson, Miss. home where civil rights leader Medgar Evers was killed half a century ago, according to The Jackson Clarion-Ledger.
Evers, who was the NAACP’s Mississippi field secretary, was shot in the back in the driveway of his Jackson home on June 12, 1963.
“Your father… your husband, was a brave and courageous man,” Lewis told Evers’ daughter, Reena Evers-Everette, and Evers’ widow, Myrlie Evers, at Saturday’s event.
The event was a “pilgrimage” organized by the Washington, D.C.-based Faith and Politics Institute (Lewis serves as the group’s co-chair emeritus.) The Clarion-Ledger reported Monday that Lewis spoke to a crowd that included fellow members of Congress.
“The night this man was shot and killed,” Lewis said, according to the newspaper, “something died in all of us in the [civil rights] movement.”
Then Lewis’ voice caught.
“This man,” he said, “came and shed his blood to free his people.”