10-year-old travels hours to meet civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis

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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- In Tybre Faw's heart is an undeniable adoration for a man he never thought he'd lean on.

"I just hugged him right there," Faw said. 'It felt like a brother hug; he is my hero."

Faw never thought Civil Rights pioneer and Georgia Congressman John Lewis was going to see him, but he did. The whole world saw both of them.

"It meant a lot to me," Faw said.

A now viral CNN video captured an emotional Faw meeting Congressman Lewis for the first time at the 53rd anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama.

"He said, 'Don't cry,' and he said, 'Where are you from?' and I said, 'Tennessee,' and he said, 'I went to school in Tennessee,' and then I said, 'I read one of your books,'" Faw said. "He said, 'Which one?' I said, '[Preaching to the Chickens.]'"

Cellphone video also showed the two wrapping their arms around each other.

"When I watch the video, I still think I'm right there," Faw said.
"I think I'm still right there, me and John Lewis; he felt like he was a dad or a brother."

The memory was so powerful, tears still streamed down Faw's face Tuesday. His grandmother, pictured leaning on Congressman Lewis' shoulder, drove him seven hours to meet the icon.

"He was a hero and the one that helped Martin Luther King get blacks and whites together," Faw said.

He's a hero, an inspiration and as Faw called Congressman Lewis, an example of the Golden Rule.

"[He taught me] to stop judging people by their skin color, how they look or what they do," Faw said.

The freedom rider even invited Faw to march across the infamous Edmund Pettus Bridge with him.

Congressman Lewis and other activists walked this same path decades ago. They were beaten, bloodied and even jailed on their quest for equal voting rights

"Without history, this wouldn't be happening," Faw said.

Believing was what granted the10-year-old a handshake with Congressman Lewis, and what fuels his future as a fighter.

"You can start fighting if you're four or five or six," Faw said. "You just have to believe."

Believing will also help Faw, wise beyond his years, achieve his dream to be an activist

"Activists solve big problems, so does John Lewis," Faw said.