John Lewis to be awarded the Liberty Medal

051314 Emory grad ba10

U.S. Rep. John Lewis addresses Emory University graduates in this 2014 file photo. Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Atlanta, will be picking up another medal in September. This one is rather more prestigious than usual.

The National Constitution Center of Philadelphia says it will award the Georgia congressman and Bloody Sunday veteran its Liberty Medal – to mark the 150th anniversaries of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution, known collectively as the Reconstruction amendments.

The trio of amendments were a coda to the Civil War that abolished slavery, granted equal protection under the law to former slaves, and prohibited racial barriers to voting.

Last year’s recipient of the Liberty Medal was the Dalai Lama. From the press release:

“Through his heroic leadership on behalf of civil rights and the Constitution, Representative Lewis has helped to extend the blessings of liberty and equality to all Americans. Under his leadership, the Civil Rights Movement helped this nation move toward the creation of the ‘more perfect union’ promised by President Lincoln at Gettysburg,” said Jeffrey Rosen, President and CEO of the National Constitution Center…

“Representative Lewis is an inspiration to people all over the world,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “On behalf of the City of Philadelphia, I am thrilled to welcome him back to our city and to help showcase his achievements with the Liberty Medal.”


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