Word - The Statesman

U.S. Rep. John Lewis

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., has become the liberal voice of conscience. He is one of the rare elected officials who has risen above politics to become a statesman. Little wonder, then, that he was named by Esquire magazine as one of the "Nine Pillars of Congress."

"The remnants of the same injustice we marched on Washington to protest 43 years ago was still visible in the drama of neglect and abandonment that we watched unfold before our very eyes only one year ago. ... Where is the leadership today in the White House or the Congress that realizes the purpose of government is not just to serve the rich and the self-sufficient, but also to defend the poor, the sick, the elderly, the starving, the homeless and the suffering?"

-- Aug. 29, 2006, the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

"How many more of our young men and young women must pay the ultimate price for this ill-conceived, mismanaged war? We cannot kill all of the terrorists. We cannot shoot them all; we cannot bomb them all. We need to stop this madness."

-- Oct. 25, 2006, after receiving news that 93 American soldiers had died in October trying to keep the peace in Iraq

"We cannot separate the debate today from our history and the past we have traveled. When we marched from Selma to Montgomery in 1965, it was dangerous. It was a matter of life and death. I was beaten. I had a concussion at the bridge. I almost died. I gave blood, but some of my colleagues gave their very lives. We must pass this act. ... It is the right thing to do, not just for us, but for generations yet unborn. When historians pick up their pens and write about this period, let it be said that those of us in the Congress in 2006, we did the right thing.

-- July 13, 2006, urging Congress to re-authorize the Voting Rights Act