As John Lewis crests the Edmund Pettus Bridge
, voices sweep around him and build into a crescendo. His head is bowed, prayerful. His eyes are damp. He is weary, but as he reaches the pinnacle of the bridge over the Alabama River and looks out to the other side, a burden lifts. He sees a very different world from March 7, 1965, when he was a slender and serious young man of 25 who helped lead a group of more than 600 marchers across the bridge toward Montgomery to demand the right to vote.