Local residents join March on Washington
Posted at: 08/24/2013 6:28 PM
| Updated at: 08/24/2013 11:30 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion | WHEC.com
Tens of thousands of people flooded the Lincoln Memorial and the National Mall Saturday, marking the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s “I Have A Dream" speech and the March on Washington.
It has been considered one of the nation's largest human rights demonstrations. A quarter of a million people turned out in 1963, demanding Congress pass laws to give African Americans opportunities for jobs and education. They also rallied for an end to oppression.
On Saturday prominent civil rights leaders were again demanding change.
The nation's capital is about seven hours away, but that didn't stop hundreds of Rochester residents from taking part in Saturday's march.
About 300 members of the Service Employee International Union got on buses and traveled through the night to get there.
For these men and women, this trip is more than just a celebration of the March on Washington. This is also about jobs, freedom and justice.
It was a day to reflect on how far we've come, but for many it was also a chance to talk about how far we have yet to go.
“I would think that the change would have come a long time ago, but it seems that instead of going forward, we are still stuck in the middle,” said Sharon Hale.
For hundreds in Rochester, this was no ordinary trip. These men and women are on a mission, hoping to bring back ideas to our community.
“Knowledge and a better understanding, because our communities are failing right now and there's a lot of issues out there and hopefully this trip will enlighten all,” said Gerald Drain.
“Now to go down there and experience what he taught, what he believed and then come back and be a difference in the community is exciting for me because you know, that's what it's all about, making a change and making a difference,” said David Heath.
When they come back they plan to be stronger, together...
News10NBC spoke to a traveler on his way back from Washington D.D. Saturday.
“The feeling was just overwhelming. Just being at a place, being part of something that will be once in a lifetime,” said Tracy Harrison.
“What is the message that you're bringing back to Rochester? “ asked News10NBC's Joangel Concepcion.
“For as much work that was done back then, and there was a lot of work, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. We still haven't made that full circle yet, that full change, and there's a lot to be done to get there and it's very much possible,” said Harrison.
The group is expected to arrive back into Rochester late Saturday night. Wednesday is the actual anniversary of the March on Washington and President Obama will speak at the Lincoln Memorial, the same spot where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his speech 50 years ago.