Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Remembering the March on Washington

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Fifty years ago, I was 12 years from being born.  That doesn't mean that I don't know the significance of what happened 50 years ago in Washington, D.C.

Hundreds of thousands of marchers descended on Washington to advocate for freedom and employment for African-Americans in the United States.  As we all know by now, Dr. Martin Luther King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and delivered his now-famous "I Have a Dream" speech.  It's one of the finest speeches ever written and delivered.

From the spark that started with the March on Washington, the United States moved forward on landmark legislation that would help set forth a period of progress that continues today.  We can debate how far that progress has come, but it's clear that we still have a long way to go.

The question for me is what will happen fifty years from now.  While we still have folks like Congressman John Lewis, who LIVED the story, we are rapidly losing members of that generation that fought so hard for so long.  The first hand voices are being silenced by time.  We must continue to tell the stories or the sacrifices those folks made will be forgotten.

That's why it's supremely important to stop and remember on days like today what happened 50 years ago.  We must remember for people like Dr. Martin Luther King who laid down his life in the name of civil rights.

1 comment:

Bradley said...

Well said, Jon. I think one of the amazing things about this speech that I just learned last night was that Dr. King pretty much ad-libbed the "I have a dream" portion of the speech. That makes it even more remarkable.