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NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 19: Congressman/Civil Rights Icon John Lewis views for the first time images and his arrest record for leading a nonviolent sit-in at Nashville's segreated lunch counters, March 5, 1963. He was eariler honored with the Nashville Public Library Literary Award on November 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

In an essay published by The New York Times today, the late Rep. John Lewis called for Americans to “answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe”

Lewis’ essay was sent to the newspaper two days before his death to be published Thursday, the day of his funeral.

Lewis wrote about why he visited the “Black Lives Matter” plaza in Washington DC before his passing stating that he “just had to see and feel it for myself that, after many years of silent witness, the truth is still marching on.”

He also wrote about why voting is so important, “Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Voting and participating in the democratic process are key. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it.”


ALSO: Morgan Freeman Reads John Lewis’ Final Op-Ed: Listen Now