I've been compiling my Modern American History curriculum, and John Lewis is prominent in many of my lessons. Even though it is anachronistic to the 1960s, I've included a picture of him standing on the Black Lives Matter street mural in Washington DC in this unit. I need my students to understand that the struggle for civil rights and social equality is not a chapter in a history book wherein we know the result before we've even studied the first lesson, but it is a torch that has been passed from generation to generation since Crispus Attucks died on the streets of Boston in 1770.
There have always been those trying to extinguish that light, but the dedication of men like John Lewis protected it, fed it, and used it's fire to ignite the will to persevere in those who would carry it on the next leg of its journey. The work is not done, and it is this generation's turn to carry the light forward. The path ahead may seem dark, but we owe it to the men and women who brought us this far to carry on in their names.
Rest in Peace John Lewis. This country owes you a debt of gratitude for a lifetime of dedicated service.