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Lewis stresses unity, education at town hall meeting
by Bill Baldowski
bbaldowski@neighbornewspapers.com
June 21, 2012 01:51 PM | 1982 views | 6 6 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
From left, Morrow Mayor JB Burke, Clayton County Commission Chairman Eldrin Bell and Fifth District Congressman John Lewis, D-Ga., address the more than 40 Morrow residents.
From left, Morrow Mayor JB Burke, Clayton County Commission Chairman Eldrin Bell and Fifth District Congressman John Lewis, D-Ga., address the more than 40 Morrow residents.
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From his humble beginnings as one of nine children on a small farm in Alabama to his rise in the Civil Rights movement and his public service at many governmental levels, culminating in Washington, Fifth District Congressman John Lewis, D-Ga., said his upbringing has taught him that public service is the most rewarding career.

More than 40 people crowded the Morrow Council chambers as Lewis conducted a town hall meeting last Saturday where he answered questions and reflected on a range of topics, from the upcoming anniversary of the Civil Rights conflict between police and peaceful Civil Rights marchers in 1963 on the Edmund Pettus Bridge during the Selma to Montgomery March in 1963 to gay marriage and other key topics.

Throughout his address, attended by Clayton County Commission Chairman Eldrin Bell as well as Morrow Mayor JB Burke and Clayton County School Board member Mary Baker, Lewis continually referred to the influence his mother had on him, especially in regard to work.

“She always told me that hard work never hurt anyone,” Lewis said. My mother never failed to encourage me to keep an eye on the prize.

Lewis also reflected on his participation in the Selma to Montgomery Civil Rights march and his association there with many of those in the movement, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“It was there that I met the icons of the Civil Rights movement, such as Dr. King and Rosa Parks,” he said, adding that of those icons of the movement, he is the only one remaining to carry on the legacy.

“If someone would have told me as I was growing up on that farm in Alabama that I would meet and have a strong association with the icons of the Civil Rights movement, I would have thought they were off their rocker,” Lewis said.

With a number of small children attending, Lewis encouraged parents to see that their children received a good education.

Looking at the assembled children, Lewis challenged the children to obey their teachers “and never, ever give up or give in.”

The congressmen emphasized that, “we are all one people, one family, one house and we have got to pull together for together for the common good.”

In regard to education matters, Lewis said people have got to make an investment in education and support teachers.

“The teachers that I had growing up made me what I am today,” Lewis said. “I would very much like to see a teacher nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.”

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