WASHINGTON, D.C.: Tens of thousands gathered on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) to mark 50 years since the March on Washington, the civil rights watershed where Martin Luther King Jr. famously declared: “I have a dream.”
Under blue skies, the predominantly—but by no means exclusively—African American crowd swelled around the Reflecting Pool, cheering a procession of speakers who addressed them from the white marble steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
“This is not a time for nostalgic commemoration . . . The task is not done. The journey is not complete. We can and we must do more,” said King’s son Martin Luther King III, speaking from the precise spot where his father delivered one of American history’s greatest speeches.
“Fifty years ago, my father stood upon this hallowed spot and the spirit of God spoke through him . . . I can almost hear my father humming, ‘A train’s a-coming,’” he said.
“Their march is now our march, and it must go on,” echoed Attorney General Eric Holder, honoring the estimated 250,000 who assembled on the National Mall in sweltering heat on August 28, 1963 to denounce racial segregation and demand equal rights.