I remember the original March on Washington and seeing all of the people assembled around the reflecting pool. I could not go. I was a teenager then. I knew how important the event was, though. So, when the anniversary march was scheduled, I became determined to go to it.
The day arrived and rain was forecast. I carried my umbrella, and stopped by the library where jazz musicians were playing. Then I headed toward the mall. The walk was kind of long, and people began to converge, going in that direction.
As we got near the Washington Monument we saw people selling souvenirs. I bought one. We’d have to stop at times to move into the Lincoln Memorial area. The rain was intermittent,and there was no large-screen TV to watch the program, but the stops were not for a long time.
Finally, we were there and I could hear very well. I was not very far from the stage. There was a large-screen TV too, and I could see the speakers. The speeches were stirring, interesting,and not drawn out. We were charged to not only consider ourselves, but to identify with the problems of others also. Together, if we care about each other, we can change the world, we were told, reaffirming what we already knew.
I was moved and grateful that I had gotten the chance to come and pay homage to those people who came many years ago to Washington, D.C., for the original march. Many had nowhere they could stop along the way, and they had to carry their food with them because of segregation. Everything that has been accomplished in the civil rights era is because of them. Unfortunately, there are still things to be done, including getting more jobs for people because over two million people in this country are presently unemployed.