March on Washington 50th Anniversary

28 Aug

crowd at march on washington 50th anniversary
Today I stood shoulder-to-shoulder with a mass of thousands of people in the heat and the rain, sharing stories and umbrellas. For three hours we waited and intermittently shuffled, finally allowed into the Lincoln Memorial area of the National Mall for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

I got to see Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and President Obama (on a screen and maybe as a speck in the distance, anyway). But the most moving speaker I saw was Reverend Bernice King, who was only 5 months old when her father delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech at the same spot in 1963.

Her speech ended right a 3 o’clock for the “Let Freedom Ring Commemoration and Call to Action Bell Ringing,” marking the exact time Martin Luther King Jr. spoke. Groups all over the country signed up to ring their bells in unison, and on the steps of the memorial a young girl sounded a rather clanky bell salvaged from the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham in 1963.

I figure all the videos are online, so here’s just a couple of clips stitched together:

 

More photos from the anniversary event:

crowd at march on washington 50th anniversary
crowd at march on washington 50th anniversary
little girl at march on washington 50th anniversary
reflecting pool at march on washington 50th anniversary
crowd at march on washington 50th anniversary
world war 2 memorial

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