President Barack Obama spoke before thousands on March 7, during a commemorative ceremony for the 50th anniversary of the events of “Bloody Sunday,” when more than 600 non-violent protesters were attacked by Alabama state troopers as they attempted to march from Selma to Montgomery for voting rights:
It is a rare honor in this life to follow one of your heroes. And John Lewis is one of my heroes.
Now, I have to imagine that when a younger John Lewis woke up that morning fifty years ago and made his way to Brown Chapel, heroics were not on his mind. A day like this was not on his mind. Young folks with bedrolls and backpacks were milling about. Veterans of the movement trained newcomers in the tactics of non-violence; the right way to protect yourself when attacked. A doctor described what tear gas does to the body, while marchers scribbled down instructions for contacting their loved ones. The air was thick with doubt, anticipation, and fear. They comforted themselves with the final verse of the final hymn they sung: (more…)Read More