One of the final goodbyes to Rep. John Lewis -- one of the great civil rights icons in American history -- just wrapped up in Selma, Alabama ... and it was incredibly powerful to watch.
The Celebration of Life ceremony Saturday evening -- which went down the historic Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church -- was the second of several that are taking place this weekend and next week. The 'Selma Salutes Congressman John Lewis' memorial helped kick off a 6-day, 5 city tribute, began in Troy, Alabama, the city where Lewis was born in 1940 to parents who worked on a cotton farm.
The service featured several different speakers -- including local and state elected officials, as well as fellow marchers who stood with John Lewis and others during the Bloody Sunday march 1965, and they all had remarkable things to say about the late Civil Rights leader.
Lewis was right there with Martin Luther King, Jr., marching, protesting and getting brutalized by cops ... sometimes so horribly he could have died. But, a cracked skull would not stop Lewis, who sometimes smiled when his mug shot was taken after being arrested ... saying he smiled because he knew he was on the right side of history.
Speaking of MLK Jr., his son -- Martin Luther King III -- gave one of the more powerful eulogies of the night ... as he reminisced on what John stood for, and how he truly lived his own father's legacy through action and civil service. MLK III also stressed the need to vote and to end voter suppression -- something Rep. Lewis long fought for in his career.
After the ceremony, his body was set to lie in repose for some hours for the public.
Other ceremonies happening this weekend and early next week include some in Montgomery, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta.
Lewis died earlier this month from pancreatic cancer. He fought the disease for 7 months but never slowed down. The man served Georgia's 5th Congressional District for 17 terms. He was often referred to as the "conscience of the Congress."