BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo's latest mural honors one of our country's civil rights icons on the one-year anniversary of his passing.
Local leaders and residents gathered on Paderewski Drive on Friday morning to commemorate the life of Congressman John Lewis. Lewis served in Congress from 1987 until his death last year.
In addition to his public service, he is also remembered for leading the first of three marches across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Alabama, a day that became known as Bloody Sunday, after troopers attacked the marchers, including Lewis.
The mural was created by acclaimed artist Edreys Wajed and is located across from the Buffalo Central Terminal.
Also on hand Friday was Leon Smith, who took part in the Bloody Sunday event that day in 1965.
"My friend, Congressman John Lewis, shared with me the special place Buffalo held in his heart, and it is fitting that his likeness is featured in the heart of Buffalo at the Hope Center," U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins said.
"In his visit to Buffalo as a child, John Lewis saw signs of hope for a more just and equal society. This mural stand as a reminder that Buffalo can lead by example and make good trouble in the fight for civil rights, voting rights and opportunity for all."
Added Wajed: "In hindsight, it’s perplexing as to why John Lewis isn’t present on the Freedom Wall considering his life’s work. I do believe, however, that things happen in a divine order, making it more fitting and appropriate that he prominently stands watchfully over such an iconic, yet forgotten and neglected part of the city as a symbol of hope, resiliency, and as a vision for restoration and healing."