Pingree Statement on Passing of Congressman John Lewis

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“I was so sad to learn of the passing of my colleague and friend John Lewis.  This is a great loss to the US Congress and to our country.  I feel so fortunate to have served with him and have learned so much from him.  From  hearing his speeches at close range to the 25 hour sit-in in the House floor to try to force a vote on gun legislation, he was always teaching and inspiring us.  Every year, John invited his colleagues to join him to recreate the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama and I was able to join him and share that experience, to hear his stories and to see many of the critical landmarks of the civil rights struggle through his eyes.  It was an incredible gift he shared with so many and it was life changing.

He truly possessed all of the characteristics that were ascribed to him.  He was insightful, vigilant, articulate, kind and had a deep understanding of the difference between right and wrong and never held back from fighting for the things that matter.  And in spite of being such a highly regarded figure, he was always humble, always had time to take a photo with a visitor or just say “hello” how are you doing?” to his colleagues as we met up on the House floor

Even at 80, he was taken from us too soon and I and so many others will miss him.”