Hopeful About the Future, Determined to Act to Strengthen Democracy
Rep. John Lewis, House and Senate speakers Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner, joining at the U.S. Capitol building, put politics aside on Wednesday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington.
Fifty years ago civil rights leaders and advocates marched on Washington in an event that lead to the passage of civil rights legislation that ended Jim Crow and began the modern era of civil rights.
Also attending, and speaking at the occasion, was Sen. Harry Reid who recounting his experience on the day said, "These proud people would no longer stand silent while a nation that promised liberty and justice for all denied true freedom to so many."
"When I look back on the March on Washington I see it as one of this nation's finest hours. They [activists] pushed, pulled and some even died to see a more fair and just society, said Rep. Lewis.
In 1963 Lewis was just twenty-three years old when he helped lead the march along with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Lewis, remembering the countless individuals who fought through the civil injustices of a nation recounted the actions of Bull Connor who, as a public safety official, allowed police dogs and fire hoses to be used on peaceful demonstrators in Birmingham, Alabama.
"Those in the movement met and decided that those ideas must not prevail", Lewis said.
On August 24th, the Rev. Al Sharpton will also help celebrate of the 59th anniversary of the March with a day-long event beginning at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC to show solidarity against the recent attack on voter rights, against Stand Your Ground and racial profiling, and to continue to raise awareness on unemployment, poverty, gun violence, immigration, gay rights and other critical issues affecting today's society.
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