Rep. John Lewis returned on Sunday to the place where, he said, “I thought I was going to die”—the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, where his skull was broken by white police officers during a 1965 civil rights march. There, honoring the 55th anniversary of that march, Lewis told listeners “We must go out and vote like we never, ever voted before.”
Lewis, who is in treatment for pancreatic cancer, was joined by most of the Democratic presidential candidates: Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg—who dropped out of the race hours later—and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“Fifty-five years ago, a few of our children attempted to march … across this bridge. We were beaten, we were tear-gassed. I thought I was going to die on this bridge. But somehow and some way, God almighty helped me here,” Lewis said in Sunday’s speech. “We must go out and vote like we never, ever voted before.”
”I’m not going to give up. I’m not going to give in. We’re going to continue to fight. We need your prayers now more than ever before,” he continued. “We must use the vote as a nonviolent instrument or tool to redeem the soul of America.”