The March on Washington

About 250,000 people were there that day in 1963, and I was one of them.MLK crop

I didn’t actually march. I skipped because I was a child at the time, excited to see what was happening just a few hundred yards from where we lived in Washington, DC.  So, holding my mother’s hand, my blonde pigtails flying, we went down 23rd Street.

As we neared the Lincoln Memorial, we heard Mahalia Jackson sing.  She was very big in those days.  I may have whispered to my mother just how big I thought she was.

August is invariably muggy and close in DC.  But the atmosphere was terrific.  Though inter-racial tensions may have been high, not for a moment did we feel out of place, let alone intimidated, and I’m sure other white people there didn’t either.  Even my mother, who’s known for being chicken, never thought to turn back.

Curiosity took us there.  Respect and awe kept us there.  Yes, I heard Reverend Martin Luther King Jr make that speech.  It is with me still.

My memories of the day are neither profound nor erudite.  How could they be, when I was so young?  Yet even now I remember it.  That’s why MLK has a place on my wall and most of all in my heart.

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7 thoughts on “The March on Washington

  1. Amazing you should be there, Carol. Next time you’re passing Westminster Abbey, glance up at the 10 modern statues above the West Door. MLK is represented as a modern martyr. I don’t know of any other statues in this country.

  2. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
    “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”
    “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
    “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
    MLK 28 Aug, 1963.

    Words of a wise man.

  3. Pingback: What the Dalai Lama Didn’t Say | Pills & Pillow-Talk

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