MLK friend ‘looking forward’ to Derry visit

Congressman John Lewis says he is looking forward to his visit to Londonderry on Thursday.

Congressman John Lewis says he is looking forward to his visit to Londonderry on Thursday.

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A close associate of assassinated peace icon Dr. Martin Luther King says he’s looking forward to walking across Derry’s Peace Bridge this week.

Congressman John Lewis, who stood alongside Dr King when he delivered his iconic ‘I Have a Dream’ speech in Washingston DC, will be in the city on Thursday afternoon.

It was on August 28, 1963, that the student activist turned civil rights leader spoke on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial just before Dr King shared his famous address with the world.

Congressman Lewis will be the keynote speaker at a special event at First Derry Presbyterian Church, Magazine Street, on Thursday afternoon (4.30 p.m.)

During his visit, he will also walk across the city’s Peace Bridge with Derry’s very own peace laureate, John Hume.

The Derry visit is part of a five-day congressional visit to Ireland - the goal of which is get a deeper understanding of peace and reconciliation efforts here.

Rep. Lewis is looking forward to the stopover in Derry.

“I look forward to walking across the Peace Bridge in Derry-Londonderry, a bridge that unites a city once divided,” he said.

“I hope that, as the marchers share our stories and experiences, we can encourage continued reconciliation in both our nations - America and Ireland alike.”

Derry Mayor Martin Reilly says Congressman Lewis’ message of non-violence and peaceful political progress is something that “Derry understands well.”

“That message has enabled both our countries to resolve our internal conflicts in productive ways,” he added.

The US delegation is due to attend a reception in Derry’s Guildhall on Thursday evening.

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