68°
Sunny
THU
 72°
 47°
FRI
 71°
 45°
SAT
 70°
 43°
SUN
 75°
 42°
MON
 66°
 45°

Another march on Washington remembers MLK's dream

  • Audience members wear ponchos in a light rain during the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington where Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

WASHINGTON — Standing on hallowed ground of the civil rights movement, President Barack Obama challenged new generations Wednesday to seize the cause of racial equality and honor the "glorious patriots" who marched a half century ago to the very steps from which Rev. Martin Luther King spoke during the March on Washington.

In a moment rich with history and symbolism, tens of thousands of Americans of all backgrounds and colors thronged to the National Mall to join the nation's first black president and civil rights pioneers in marking the 50th anniversary of King's "I Have a Dream" speech. Obama urged each of them to become a modern-day marcher for economic justice and racial harmony.

"The arc of the moral universe may bend toward justice but it doesn't bend on its own," Obama said, in an allusion to King's own message.

50th Anniversary Of March On Washington

X

His speech was the culmination of daylong celebration of King's legacy that began with marchers walking the streets of Washington behind a replica of the transit bus that Rosa Parks once rode when she refused to give up her seat to a white man.

At precisely 3 p.m., members of the King family tolled a bell to echo King's call 50 years earlier to "let freedom ring." It was the same bell that once hung in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., where four black girls were killed when a bomb planted by a white supremacist exploded in 1963.

Georgia Rep. John Lewis, a former freedom rider and the sole survivor of the main organizers of the 1963 march, recounted the civil rights struggles of his youth and exhorted American to "keep the faith and keep our eyes on the prize."

The throngs assembled in soggy weather at the Lincoln Memorial, where King, with soaring, rhythmic oratory and a steely countenance, had pleaded with Americans to come together to stomp out racism and create a land of opportunity for all.

White and black, they came this time to recall history — and live it.

© The Press Democrat |  Terms of Service |  Privacy Policy |  Jobs With Us |  RSS |  Advertising |  Sonoma Media Investments |  Place an Ad
Switch to our Mobile View