Airport honors Rep. John Lewis
Hartsfield-Jackson greeted U.S. Rep. John Lewis, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in Washington last week, with an enthusiastic welcome home on February 21.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Aviation General Manager Louis Miller and more than 100 guests and well-wishers cheered Lewis and sang “Happy Birthday” to him during a news conference in the Airport Atrium.
“I will tell you as someone who knows without a shadow of a doubt in my mind that I would not be the 59th mayor of the city of Atlanta were it not for the work and sacrifices of people like Congressman John Lewis,” Reed said.
The mayor noted that the event was a surprise for the congressman.
“He didn’t know anything about this, he didn’t ask for it — and I don’t think he would have approved it,” Reed joked.
Lewis thanked Miller, Atlanta City Councilman Ivory Lee Young Jr. and the mayor before addressing those in attendance.
“To each and every one of you, thank you so much,” Lewis said. “It is good to be here on my birthday. … I have never, ever had a welcome in any airport ever before, and I have traveled all over America and traveled all over the world. But this is the best welcome, so thank you so much.”
After the event in the Atrium, a reception was held on the third floor.
President Barack Obama presented Lewis and 14 others with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, on February 15.
A throng of well-wishers and media representatives gather around U.S. Rep. John Lewis (center), who was returning home after receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in Washington on February 15.
Aviation General Manager Louis Miller (left) and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (right) join the applause for U.S. Rep. John Lewis.
A cake in Lewis’ honor bears the image of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
© 2011 Hartsfield-Jackson News. A Publication from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. All rights reserved.