As they showed us around their office full of powerful historic images from their lifetime I fought my body’s desires to cry. Being in the presence of one of the big six of the civil rights movement was something I never thought would happen in my life time.
I won’t speak for my peers but I sure was excited the moment we found out that we had free roam within the Cannon building. The reason for my excitement was for one individual, that was unlike the rest, was here. All the representatives were just called to vote and the four of us rushed up to room number 234 (I believe this was the number). Once arrived, us nervous millennials, knocked on the door of the office (you don’t knock we later found out, you just walk in). Once inside we spoke to the person at the front desk in the four room office and told her we were here to meet someone very key to our beliefs and identities. She told us, “give me your number and just wait in the hall, I will call you the moment they arrive.” We ran out the office in excitement, they hadn’t went home yet and we were going to meet them.
After around ten or so minutes we get a call and Zach starts power walking to the office. We walk in the place like we owned it and there they were. They came out of their office, possibly a little taken aback by four giddy young students. They welcomed us in their office and it was a museum within itself. Every piece of wall space was filled with artwork or photos of their past and the civil rights movement. The moment I stepped in I could feel the tears, and the whole time with them it was hard to keep the tears in check. This individual was speaking to me and sharing their life and the life of people who changed US history forever.
(If you don’t know already either from context clues or the cover photo of the article I am speaking of meeting John Lewis.
They continued to speak of “young John Lewis” as the John Lewis in the photos. And as they spoke I could feel the emotion and see the pain/struggle of the photos. This individual suffered and fought for change and still does every day in the house. I can’t even begin to describe how I felt as they looked me in the eye and shared with me. I felt so moved and taken aback because we all talk of change but this person brought change to our nation.
They even tried to connect with us millennials and mentioned that they looked quote, “fresh as we would call it.” And I promise you, John Lewis looked fresh as heck.