Honoring sacrifice made 50 years ago

Published 9:50 pm Friday, March 6, 2015

Today it’s been exactly 50 years since marchers tried to make their way over the Edmund Pettus Bridge, only to be met with resistance and ultimately force from Alabama State Troopers and Sheriff Jim Clark’s posse.

The beatings and general horror that followed turned that day — March 7, 1965 — into the most infamous in Selma’s history. The pictures that followed showed the world about the battle going on in the southern part of the United States, as many fought fearlessly for the chance to vote.

The sacrifices Foot Soldiers made on that infamous day spurred on the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and started moving the nation towards total racial equality.

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In the days that followed, a court order allowed marches to get over the bridge and walk all the way to Montgomery. By now, everyone knows the story of those marchers and the obstacles they had to overcome to fight for what they believed in.

Their tale is one that undoubtedly will be told for the rest of eternity and should serve as a reminder that ordinary people can band together and enact big changes.

Saturday will be the start of a weekend unlike any other in Selma.

President Barack Obama, our nation’s first black president, will speak on the same ground where many sacrificed for the right to vote. There may be as many as 100,000 on hand just to hear what Obama and former President George Bush have to say.

Sunday a record jubilee crowd will likely be on hand to march in unison across the Edmund Pettus in honor of those who did it 50 years ago. It’ll likely send chills down the spines of everyone in attendance.

We’re looking forward to joining in with others in honoring the sacrifice that so many gave half a century ago.