Renaming Alabama bridge for John Lewis opposed in Selma

National News

FILE – In this March 7, 2015, file photo, singing “We Shall Overcome,” President Barack Obama, third from left, walks holding hands with Amelia Boynton, who was beaten during “Bloody Sunday,” as they and the first family and others including Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga, left of Obama, walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., for the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” a landmark event of the civil rights movement. Some residents in the landmark civil rights city of Selma, Ala., are among the critics of a bid to rename the historic bridge where voting rights marchers were beaten in 1965. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Calls are growing nationally to honor the late Rep. John Lewis by putting his name on the Alabama bridge where he and other voting rights demonstrators were beaten 55 years ago.

But the idea is being met with resistance in Selma, Alabama, the city where “Bloody Sunday” occurred.

Some say renaming the Edmund Pettus Bridge for the Georgia congressman would dishonor local activists who spent years advocating for civil rights before Lewis arrived in town in the 1960s.

Others fear tourism would be hurt if the name were changed.

Alabama legislators would have to approve any change, and a key lawmaker says the change wouldn’t be appropriate.

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