"With the passing of Congressman John Lewis, America has lost a titan of the civil rights era, an indomitable force of progress and a fierce voice of truth. John Lewis fought against racism his entire life. He showed that young people can lead a national movement, and he continues to inspire millions of young activists today.
"It is impossible to imagine where our country would be without his advocacy. He was born to sharecroppers in the Jim Crow south and attended segregated schools. He died an unparalleled American hero—a leader of the Civil Rights Movement and a congressman who fought for equity in our laws for more than three decades. And he died at the dawn of a new Civil Rights Movement.
"Each and every one of us has a sacred obligation to eradicate systemic racism in his honor. Let his legacy inspire our work to give every single student a world-class education. Let his legacy underscore the urgency of putting justice and mercy at the forefront of our criminal justice system. Let his legacy motivate us to address the health disparities that have affected people of color for generations. Congressman Lewis' life work was to build a stronger, fairer and more equal America. But his work — and our work — is far from over."
Raimondo also asks Rhode Islanders to lower their flags to half-staff as a mark of respect.