Selma, AL commemorates ‘Bloody Sunday’ civil rights march
Bryan Llenas reports on the fifty third anniversary of the march.
Several members of Congress joined civil rights activists and others Sunday afternoon for the annual commemoration of the day of racist violence in Selma, dating back to 1965.
A bipartisan group, including Rep. John Lewis of Georgia led the crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge. It was to recall the “Bloody Sunday” when voting rights demonstrators were attacked by police as they tried to cross the bridge.
“It is very meaningful to come back here, to come back to this historic site and to be here with so many wonderful people. It is a beautiful day today here in Selma,” he said as he was surrounded by his colleagues, the Selma Times-Journal reported.
Lewis, then a young organizer, was one of those injured. That violence set the stage for the Selma to Montgomery march, which helped build support for the parliamentary approval of the Voting Rights Act months later.
Sen. Kamala Harris from California, who spoke at the Martin and Coretta King Unity Breakfast, said she felt a mixture of emotions run across the bridge.
“It’s bittersweet,” Harris said. “The sorrow and the pain at the thought of what they endured 53 years ago, but it is also inspiration all over again fight to be the best of who we are and honoring those who are heroes are still heroes.”
The annual celebration drew tens of thousands of people in 2015, when the then-President Barack Obama spoke near the foot of the bridge as the former President George W. Bush, and listened.