Thursday, August 29, 2013

Let Freedom Ring

Yesterday was such a remarkable day in American history. Bells for freedom rang all across the United States as we commemorate the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom where Martin Luther King, Jr delivered  what I consider the most moving speech I've ever heard. As I listened to the reports and the coverage of the event yesterday I was moved by the speakers yesterday and the people,who remembered the original day. Here are a few things I heard as I also taught school, cooked supper, ran errands and other little things we do on a daily basis.

Bells rang all over the US at 2:00, the bell that rang at the Lincoln Memorial was the bell that was in the 16th Street Baptist Church when the church was bombed less than a month after the original demonstration.

Former President Carter remembered visiting separate schools when he returned from WWII. He said there were many more black schools than white schools, because their schools had to be close to home since they didn't have bus service. I can't quote exactly, but he remarked that they met in churches, homes and sometimes even barns and their books were old and worn out, and every book had a white child's name written in the front. 

Former President Clinton remembered watching the March on TV alone in Arkansas at age 17.

Oprah tried, but she was out leagued.

President Obama spoke about the people that are still marching by their actions to continue moving toward equality.

As a result of the Civil Rights Movement JFK, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr, Medgar Evars, and  four little girls were killed. 

Two Civil Rights bills were signed in to law in 1964 and 1968 and the Voting Rights Act was passed. Other Civil Rights groups have seen progress toward equality including women, gays and other minorities. Our government has more color and flavor and for the most part represents all the people. But we know there is more to do. 

This is a great time to reflect on what has happened in the past 50 years and look to what me need to do,to continue progressing in the next 50 years. At the 100 year commemoration, nobody will be alive who remembers hearing MLK Jr. I wonder what the reflections will be at that time. Maybe equality won't even have to be a discussion.