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tv   Nightline  ABC  July 31, 2020 12:06am-12:36am PDT

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oh, hey, who is the dude he always forgets about at the end of the show? yeah, him. i ain't going to say his name. this is "nightline." >> tonight, a final farewell to a civil rights titan. paying tribute to john lewis, three former presidents. >> america was built by john lewises. >> how the lawmaker inspired new leaders to fight for a better union and get into good trouble. plus, vanessa guillen. family members of the murdered soldier taking their plea for justice to the nation's capitol and to the president. spark a me too moment for the military and moving others to use their voices. >> announcer: "nightline" starts right now. with juju cheng. good evening. thanks for joining us. throughout his life john lewis
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fought in the name of justice and equality, even when equality sometimes meant face the blows of a billy club and tear gas. still the crusader for civil rights persisted and now after nearly six decades the torch is passed to the next generation. here's abc's steve osunsami. ♪ and lead me home >> and someday when we do form a more perfect union, whether it's years from now or decades or even if it takes another two centuries, john lewis will be a founding father of that fuller, fairer, better america. >> reporter: from the church in atlanta that is the beating heart of the civil rights movement bells rang today in honor of congressman john lewis. 80 times for 80 years of his
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storied life. >> welcome to ebenezer baptist church. spiritual home of martin luther king jr. >> reporter: three former presidents, members of congress, mayors, past and present, mourners braving the heat outside, all came together to remember and celebrate the man who stared down death and fought for life. >> john lewis, first of the freedom riders, youngest speaker at the march on washington, member of congress representing the people of this state and this district for 33 years, mentor to young people including me at the time, until his final day on this earth, which isn't bad for a boy from troy. >> reporter: president george w. bush was the last u.s. president to reauthorize the voting rights act. >> john and i had our disagreements, of course.
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but in the america john lewis fought for and the america i believe in differences of opinion are inevitable elements and evidence of democracy in action. >> reporter: president bill clinton spoke about losing a friend. >> he took a savage beating on more than one day. and he lost that backpack on bloody sunday. nobody knows what happened to it. what it represented never disappeared from john lewis's spirit. he's gone up yonder and left us with marching orders. i suggest, since he's close enough to god to keep his eye on the sparrow and us, we salute, suit up and march on. [ applause ] >> reporter: cortland cox knows all about marching. he was a fellow organizer with the student non-violent coordinating committee. cox has known lewis for more than 50 years.
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>> john lewis was a person who really believed that you needed to put your body on the line to get in the way. >> i'm bent over writing -- >> reporter: cox was there on that wednesday in washington in 1963, helping the then 23-year-old craft what would become a historic speech. >> let us not forget that we are involved in a serious social revolution. >> the kennedy administration did not like the kind of criticism that john laid on the administration. the administration wanted the speech changed. we told them that we in fact were not going to change it. we were going to, you know, leave the speech as it was. >> reporter: just this past sunday in his home state of alabama lewis's body crossed the edmund pettus bridge one last time. in 1965 on bloody sunday he was nearly beaten to death by police
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in a march for voting rights. he crossed that bridge as a hero. edna chamblin also marched in alabama all those years ago. >> it was a pleasure to be a part of it, walking with him and martin luther king back in the '60s. >> reporter: today in atlanta she brought her grandson to his memorial. >> this day is for john lewis. you know. and we want to celebrate this day as our hero goes to his final resting place. >> reporter: delivering the eulogy was president barack obama. >> i was proud that john lewis was a friend of mine. i met him when i was in law school. the next time i saw him i'd been elected to the united states senate. and i told him, john, i'm here because of you. >> reporter: the former president didn't mince words, saying that the activism that made lewis a civil rights hero is entirely similar to the protests filling the streets today. >> bull connor may be gone.
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but today we witness with our own eyes police officers kneeling on the necks of black americans. george wallace may be gone, but we can witness our federal government sending agents to use tear gas and batons against peaceful demonstrators. [ applause ] john devoted his time on this earth fighting the very attacks on democracy and what's best in america that we're seeing circulate right now. >> he's going to step out. >> reporter: for cox, who watched the service from his home in washington, d.c., the service didn't just celebrate the politician. it honored the man he knew. >> he was a very determined person. and i heard somebody at the
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memorial service saying that he could dance. that was not really -- that was not really true. but he would get out there and dance. john was a hell of a guy. >> reporter: a tribute to his friend and a reminder of all the work that's left to be done. as john lewis once said, "our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a month, a week, or a year. it is the struggle of a lifetime." >> i think the value of john lewis is that he's seen as an ordinary person who did extraordinary things. and almost at the end of his life realizing that he could no longer continue the struggle he went down to the black lives plaza to make a statement to the young people to say i have fought the good fight, i have done everything that's necessary, but i know it's not sufficient, i'm looking for you to carry on the struggle. >> our thanks to steve.
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and up next, the family of a murdered soldier, vanessa guillen, meeting with the president and inspiring calls for change in the military. w ♪ ocean spray works with nature every day to farm in a sustainable way
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the disappearance and murder of soldier vanessa guillen igniting national outrage. now her loved ones turning their pain into a push for justice. taking their message all the way to the white house, inspiring other women in the military to use their voice to speak out about their allegations of sexual assault. abc's stephanie ramos, who's also a major in the u.s. army reserve, has the story. >> vanessa guillen! >> this is for vanessa. because now my sister is with god. she's in a better place. but then the other survivors, they're here with their families. but my sister's not. >> reporter: for lupe guillen and her family this is what the fight for justice in vanessa's name looks like. >> tdemand a congressional
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investigation! because this is just the beginning. >> reporter: just weeks after the army soldier was found tragically murdered her family and their attorney in washington, d.c. today, marching from capitol hill to the white house. >> our troops need to feel safe and need to feel respected because they're the ones putting their life at risk. >> reporter: vanessa's family says she was sexually harassed by a superior at fort hood before she went missing, a claim that the army says they are currently investigating. >> say her name! >> vanessa! >> reporter: her story igniting what some are calling a me too moment for the military, inspiring other veterans to share their own stories and demand reform to the military's existing system of reporting and prosecuting sexual harassment and assault within its ranks. when did you first hear about vanessa guillen? >> i started hearing little tidbits. but i didn't want to really take a deep dive into it. i didn't know what type of trigger it was going to be for me. >> reporter: for lucy delgadio
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vanessa's story feels all too familiar. both women young and eager to protect the place they call home. >> being latina, so many latinas go into the military as a way of trying to better themselves, to try to establish legacy, to show how patriotic we are to this country. >> reporter: when did things change for you in the army? >> in '92 i was assaulted. and that's when everything changed. >> reporter: it happened while she was serving in germany. raped, she says, by a superior, a man she at one point considered a mentor. >> i thought i could trust him. but then i started seeing true colors. and that's when things started becoming uncomfortable. and then it happened. and, yeah. and then it happened. >> reporter: many of the details she still keeps private.
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she says at the time she reported the assault but there was pushback. >> i said i was raped. "are you sure?" it came -- it was like this back and forth. are you sure? are you sure? are you sure? yes, i'm sure. >> reporter: no official report to her knowledge was ever filed. >> i reported to my chain of command. i followed policy and procedure. i was an outstanding soldier. and the minute that happened to me and the minute they -- i reported and the minute they neglected to believe me i became a different person. and i became angry and at times i became belligerent. and at times i was not myself. that's what makes me so enraged, is that they see us changing. they see us slowly decline and they don't try to seek any type of assistance for us. >> reporter: do you still feel the effects of that so many years later? >> every day. every day. every day there's reminders,
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there's triggers. you know, scents. like smells. a voice. a haircut. there's triggers. every day. >> reporter: in a statement to abc news an army spokesperson suggested lucy reach out to the army to initiate an investigation, adding that the army takes allegations of sexual misconduct seriously and investigates reports of sexual assault. lucy would eventually be reassigned to another unit in the states, transferred from active duty to the reserves before leaving the army altogether in 1998. you wanted to protect and serve and have this career in the military. do you feel as though your country failed you? >> i totally feel like they didn't do their job, they didn't take care of me. on the other side i have to say
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i value the military because of what we do. we protect and serve. i'm a patriot. but this piece of the puzzle, they need to fix because if they continually fail us i don't know how much longer i could feel that this way, you know. >> we have to change the culture -- >> reporter: lucy is now a part of a grassroots effort demanding reform, fighting to put a stop to sexual harassment and assault in the military. her sense of duty taking her to the nation's capital this week. >> prep meeting number one. >> reporter: with a team of women around her, she prepares to testify before congress. sharing her story publicly. something vanessa never got the chance to do. >> i wish it was her. we are going to give her the voice that she justly deserves because we are fighting for her. we are really fighting for her
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justice. women do not report because we fear for our safety, we fear for our future, we fear retaliation. >> reporter: speaking at this armed services subcommittee hearing to an audience of lawmakers, this time she's hopeful it will be a catalyst to change. >> honestly, i'm getting my justice. i'm getting my justice because i found my voice. i'm being heard. >> zero tolerance means zero tolerance. military justice must be swift and it must be just. thank you, and i look forward to your questions. >> justice for vanessa! >> reporter: vanessa's family and their attorney, natalie kawam, are in d.c. to raise awareness for the i am vanessa guillen bill that would allow service members to report sexual harassment and assault claims with a third-party agency. >> the legislation is going to be the justice that she deserves.
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>> reporter: at that meeting today president trump offered his support. >> so we're going to look into it very powerfully. and we already have started, as you know. and we'll get to the bottom of it. >> reporter: as the department of justice and fbi investigate along with the army, the family hopes it's a significant step in what surely will be a long fight for justice and reform. >> someone told me be the voice to the voiceless! so we're being the voice for vanessa and all the people being sexually harassed because this is just the beginning and we're not going to stop! >> our thanks to stephanie. and coming up, the young voices coming together to read a final inspiring message from civil rights icon john lewis. motorcycle riders love the open road. and geico loves helping riders get to where they're going, so to help even more, geico is giving new and current customers a fifteen percent credit on their motorcycle policies
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so we collaborate ♪ ocean spray works with nature every day to farm in a sustainable way
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and finally tonight, it's an uplifting parting message to americans from a man who shed blood in the name of democracy. john lewis asked "the new york times" to publish his editorial on the day of his funeral. tonight we bring together young activists to give voice to his final call to action.
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>> while my time here has now come to an end, i want you to know that -- >> in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me. >> you filled me with hope about the next chapter in the great american story when you used your power to make a difference in our society. >> see his name! >> george floyd! >> emmett till was my george floyd. he was my rashard brooks. sandra bland. and breonna taylor. >> when you see something that is not right, you must say something. you must do something. >> democracy is not a state. it is an act. and each generation must help build what we called the beloved community, a nation and world society at peace with itself. >> ordinary people with the soul of america by getting in what i call good trouble. >> necessary trouble. >> voting and participating in a democratic process are key. >> when historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that
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it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last. >> so i say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters. let the spirit of peace and power of everlasting love be your guide. rest in peace, john lewis. fight on. ♪ we shall overcome someday >> rest in peace. that's "nightline." we'll see you right back here tomorrow at the same time. thanks for staying up with us. good night, america. from hollywood, it's "jimmy kimmel live," with guest host anthony anderson. tonight, tracee ellis ross. and washington, d.c. mayor muriel bowser. and now, anthony anderson.
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>> hello, and welcome to "jimmy kimmel live." i am your host for the next two nights, anthony anderson. jimmy is taking the summer off to do whatever the hell white people do. polo? ice fishing? i don't know. so he asked me to guest host, which the word guest doesn't seem quite right. when you invite a guest over for dinner, you don't make them show up to an empty house and cook their own damn food, do you? but i'm happy to be guest-hosting the show. i'm a little less happy about guest-parenting jimmy's badass kids while he's away. hold on. hey, billy! i told you, don't touch the stove, boy! now, when you burn yourself, just put some tussin on it. anyway, don't worry, loyal jimmy kimmel viewers. tonight you are in good hands. good chapped overly sanitized hands. i'd like to also say hello to my virtual sidekick. hey, are you there, guillermo?


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