The letter from Prime Minister Andrew Holness noted that “Congressman Lewis will be forever etched in our memories and in the annals of the history of the United States of America and indeed the world, for the prominent role he played and the indelible mark he made in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s which arose out of the need and desire for equality and freedom for African Americans.”
The note which was sent to the Jamaican Embassy in Washington for onward transmission to the US Congress, observed that “Congressman Lewis continued his fight for justice throughout his entire life including as a representative of the people in the United States Congress where he was called by his colleagues as the “Conscience of Congress” given his relentless pursuit for the promotion and protection of human rights and civil liberties for all.”
PM Holness said “while the legacy of slavery and the institutionalization of racism still exists today, the actions and great sacrifice of courageous men like John Lewis serve as a poignant reminder of the need to remain steadfast and resolute in our pursuit of freedom, equality and justice for all human kind.
On behalf people of Jamaica, please accept our deepest condolences on the passing of Congressman Lewis. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, the City of Atlanta, the Congressional Black Caucus, United States Congress and the Nation during this period of bereavement.”
In his tribute, former Prime Minister PJ Patterson said John Lewis" was a valiant warrior, who in the context of the ongoing struggle, has left a personal legacy on which current efforts of the "Black Lives Matter" can build.
He is a genuine American hero and moral leader who commands global respect. Congressman Lewis, often described as "one of the most courageous persons the Civil Rights Movement ever produced", in his pursuit of Civil Rights, was known for his humility, a commitment to peaceful advocacy, as well as his dedication to the highest ethical standards and moral principles; - characteristics that won him the admiration of many.”
Mr. Patterson observed that "A further testimony to the man that he was", "was that despite more than 40 arrests, physical attacks and serious injuries, John Lewis remained a devoted advocate of the philosophy of nonviolence.
In recognizing the passing of this outstanding man within a few hours, of another spiritual colleague, Rev C. T. Vivian. These two men have joined with Martin Luther King, as the members of his glorious band of martyrs. - May their souls rest in Peace!" concludes Mr. Patterson.
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