49th Anniversary Bridge Crossing Jubilee

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By Amanda Wade

It is the 49th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Marches, and thousands walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge to honor those before them.

For some, it brings back memories; especially for freedom fighters who marched across the bridge in 1965, "I was born in 1949, and I was in a lot of the march and the voting rights in Wilcox County, and it was great. I mean, it was a tough time. But, I know we were going to overcome. And I'm glad to see this day," says Alversal Lawson, a 1965 Foot Soldier.

 
Representative John Lewis was also at the 1965 marches, "My message is simple. When people say nothing has changed, I say come and walk in my shoes."
 
Many say the focus this year is on a younger generation, "The major concern with this here is to keep Dr. King's dream alive, because the younger generation today, they just don't have an idea of the struggles, the sacrifices that we made to open doors and stuff like that so they would have the opportunities that they have today," says Robert Powell, a jubilee marcher. 
 
And that's why Teril Slater says he brought a group of children with him to their first jubilee, so they could experience it for themselves, "I don't think I could have ever went through what they went through to get us to this point, so I'm glad that I can come back and pay tribute to it, and just honor the people before me who burned bridges for us to be where we are today."
 
Martin Luther King, III says his message is about progress and moving forward, "My mom and dad taught me to love ourselves, to love our family, to love our community, and have a love of god. And while I'm not mandating that's what you should do, I'm just saying that that is the prescription that worked for me."
 
People say they are already getting excited for next year's 50th anniversary.


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