Remembering Elijah Cummings: 7 Powerful Quotes

Remembering Elijah Cummings: 7 Powerful Quotes

Baltimore Congressman Elijah Cummings died Thursday, October 17, after a long battle with health complications. FILE – In this Aug. 7, 2019, file photo, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., speaks during a luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington. U.S. Rep. Cummings has died from complications of longtime health challenges, his office said in a statement on Oct. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Yesterday the world lost a giant when U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, 68, died. Known for his commitment to justice, equality and helping marginalized people, the Baltimore Democrat lived with power and now he is resting in it.

As chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Cummings was one of the most powerful politicians in Washington DC. In a statement his wife, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, remembered her husband as “an honorable man who proudly served his district and the nation with dignity, integrity, compassion and humility.” She added that he “worked until his last breath.”

The son of sharecroppers, Cummings was a civil rights advocate and champion of the “the least of these.” At the core of his political career was his desire to help people in poor, urban areas. He also took seriously the role he and others played in creating a better world for future generations.

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Since his death yesterday, family, friends, constituents and legislators from both sides of the aisle have remembered him for being a great man. Here are some of his inspirational quotes that will live on.

“As elected Representatives of the American people, we speak not only for those who are here with us now, but for generations yet unborn.  Our voices today are messages to a future we may never see. … When the history books are written about this tumultuous era, I want them to show that I was among those in the House of Representatives who stood up to lawlessness and tyranny.  If Senate Republicans choose to close their eyes, put party over country, and forego their duty under the Constitution, the history books will show that too.”

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“I’m here for a season and a reason … I don’t know why I’m here, I don’t know how long I’ll be here, but I’m here. And I’m going to make the best of it.”

“Mr. President, I go home to my district daily. Each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbors. It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch. But, it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents.”

“Nelson Mandela said … the greatest person and the strongest person is the one who was able to hold their emotions in when they feel they should strike out. And I believe in that. If you ever hear me raise my voice, it’s because I believe that somebody is trying to get something over on me.”

“I’m going to do what feeds my soul…. And what feeds my soul is having these kinds of opportunities.”

“I’ve told people many times that it’s not whether you will have difficulties … The question is how you deal with them.”

“You must have confidence in your competence … Most people who are hating on you, they are not worried about where you are. They’re worried about where you’re going.”