Rockland County exec signs petition to rename Edmund Pettus Bridge after Rep. John Lewis

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NEW CITY – Rockland County Executive Ed Day digitally signed the petition to rename the Edmund Pettus Bridge, a National Historic Landmark in Selma, Alabama, after the late Congressman John Lewis who marched across the span in March 7, 1965, as a young civil rights activist, in an effort to take a message of freedom to the segregationist Alabama Governor, George Wallace in Montgomery.

“Congressman Lewis shed his blood on that bridge, suffering a fractured skull on that day which became known as ‘Bloody Sunday’ after Alabama state troopers armed with gas canisters and nightsticks were ordered by Gov. Wallace to brutally disperse what he called an illegal march,” said Day.

Rep. John Lewis

A U.S. District Judge overturned Governor Wallace’s order and ruled demonstrators could complete their march. They left Selma on Sunday, March 21 with 3,200 people – and arrived in Montgomery on Thursday, March 25, 25,000 strong according to the National Parks Service.

“John Lewis was at the forefront of both marches and walked with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. when they left Selma the second time. It is not an overstatement to say that their peaceful actions laid the groundwork that led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. I can think of no greater honor than renaming the bridge that played such a memorable role in our history after a man who never stopped fighting for justice,” Day said.

The petition which is addressed to current Alabama Governor Kay Ivey can be signed here: