Tuesday, June 17, 2003
Press statement: Congressman Chip Pickering: CELEBRATING THE LIFE AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF MEDGAR EVERS ... House passes resolution commending the lives and accomplishments of Medgar Evers and Myrlie Evers-Williams ... (WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Today, the US House of Representatives passed House Concurrent Resolution 220, commending the lives and accomplishments of Medgar Evers and his widow Myrlie Evers-Williams. Discussion on the House Floor followed a special ceremony held at Arlington National Cemetery. The resolution was sponsored by Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS, 2) and co-sponsored by Congressman Chip Pickering (R-MS, 3). A similar resolution passed the US Senate last week, sponsored by Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran (R) and co-sponsored by Senator Trent Lott (R-MS).
The ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery was attended by Myrlie Evers-Williams; Reverend Nelson Rivers III, Chief Operating Officer of the NAACP; Congressmen Pickering and Thompson and Senator Lott. Also present were Barry Bradford, an Illinois high school teacher and three of his students who put the event together. The ceremony recognized the 40th anniversary of Medgar Evers' death on June 12, 1963. Several hundred onlookers and the national press were also present.
"What a tribute to the legacy of Medgar Evers that forty years after his death, his struggle for equal rights, equal protection, equal education and equal opportunity is a unifying force," Congressman Pickering said following the ceremony. "Republicans and Democrats, blacks and whites, conservatives and liberals - we can recognize differences while being committed to racial reconciliation and continue our commitment to equality and justice."
Congressmen Pickering and Thompson left the ceremony and went immediately to the Floor of the House of Representatives to discuss H.Con.Res 220, which following their remarks, was passed unanimously by the House.
"Forty years ago, Mississippi lost one of her brightest stars. His flame was extinguished by ignorance and hatred, yet his light shines on," said Congressman Pickering during the debate. "Few individuals have made an impact on Mississippi, and on our entire nation, like Medgar Evers. Today, we are a better Mississippi and a better America because of Medgar's life."