05/04/2015 01:02 pm ET | Updated May 04, 2015

John Lewis Honors The Freedom Riders 54 Years Later

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) shared a photo on Twitter Monday on the 54th anniversary of the start of the Freedom Rides.

Lewis and 12 others left Washington, D.C., on May 4, 1961, to fight for civil rights in the Deep South:

Lewis was attacked just eight days after leaving Washington, while trying to enter a whites-only waiting area in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

In 2009, Lewis reunited with Elwin Wilson, one of the men who attacked him at Rock Hill. Wilson apologized to Lewis, and the two made several appearances together to advocate for equality and forgiveness before Wilson's death in 2013.


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