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Project to light iconic bridge moves ahead in Selma

SELMA, Ala. (AP) — A project to light the Edmund Pettus Bridge — an iconic structure for its role in the struggle for Civil Rights — could be completed by next summer in Selma, Alabama, organizers said this week.

The Rev. Mike Lewis of the Selma Bridge Lights Project gave an update on the timeline this week. Lewis had proposed the idea in 2017 as a way of attracting more people to visit Selma, The Selma Times-Journal reported.

About 600 protesters marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on a day in 1965 that became known as Bloody Sunday. The late civil rights leader John Lewis, leading the demonstrators across the bridge in a protest for voting rights, was knocked to the ground and beaten by law enforcement officers. The violence on the bridge focused the nation’s attention on racial oppression in the South.

FILE – In this March 7, 1965, file photo, a state trooper swings a billy club at John Lewis, right foreground, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, to break up a civil rights voting march in Selma, Ala. Lewis sustained a fractured skull. Lewis, who carried the struggle against racial discrimination from Southern battlegrounds of the 1960s to the halls of Congress, died Friday, July 17, 2020. (AP Photo/File)

“When people think of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, they think of Selma. The lighting of the Edmund Pettus Bridge will honor the Foot Soldiers and Civil Rights,” the Rev. Mike Lewis said.

There are plans to have different lights for various occasions, Mike Lewis said.

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