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Reception kicks off Jubilee weekend

It’s no secret that there are a few more visitors in Selma this weekend.

People have come from many different states and even countries to celebrate the 45th annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee.

Thursday, the Jubilee committee welcomed visitors that had already made their way into town at a reception at the Larry D. Striplin Performing Arts Center.

Those that were in attendance met each other with open arms and stories of where they were from.

“The bridge crossing is a time to stop and recognize the progress that has been made,” said Sam Walker, a coordinator for the Bridge Crossing Jubilee. “But it is also a time to recommit to work to make things right.”

Many of the visitors at the opening shared Walker’s feelings on just what the Jubilee meant to them.

Madera Selasi hasn’t always lived in Selma, but she is reminded daily of what happened 45 years ago.

“Remnants of ‘Bloody Sunday’ are something we live with everyday,” she said. “The mentality from that era still exists for the people that have been here all of their lives.”

For Beta Maraim, Jubilee means a time of remembering and recognizing that the same struggles that happened in the past are happing now, only now it’s worldwide.

“There was the success of being able to vote,” said Maraim. “But there are other obstacles on a more global level.”

But others have come to explore Selma’s history.

Dr. Uma Majmudar is from India, but lives in Atlanta, Ga., and has studied the life of Mahatma Gandhi nearly all of her life.

“As I was studying Gandhi, I saw that he influenced the leaders all over the world,” said Majmudar. “Martin Luther King Jr. is called the ‘American Gandhi,’ and I began studying him too.”

Majmudar has come to see what the “Bloody Sunday” march will be like.

“I have come for the excitement of the past,” she said. “The magic moments, and at the same time, tragic moments.”