Monday, September 24, 2018

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Alabama’s ‘Bloody Sunday’ racial violence of 1965 remembered

Members of Congress join civil rights activists and others for annual commemoration of day of racial violence in Selma dating to 1965

  • Bloody-Sunday-Anniversary

    A child runs down Water Street during the Bridge Crossing Jubilee in commemoration of the 53rd anniversary of Bloody Sunday on Sunday, March 4, 2018, in Selma, Ala. (Albert Cesare/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)

    Albert Cesare

  • Bloody-Sunday-Anniversary-1

    Andrew Hill sits near the Edmund Pettus Bridge for the Bridge Crossing Jubilee in commemoration of the 53rd anniversary of Bloody Sunday on Sunday, March 4, 2018, in Selma, Ala. Hill, who served in Vietnam in 1965, said that he has attended the last 10 anniversaries. (Albert Cesare/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP) (Albert Cesare/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)

    Albert Cesare

  • Bloody-Sunday-Anniversary-2

    Members of Congress and the Senate stand with others to pose for a picture during the annual commemoration of "Bloody Sunday," the day in 1965 when voting rights protesters were attacked by police as they attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge. (Albert Cesare/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)

    Albert Cesare

  • Bloody-Sunday-Anniversary-3

    Congressman John Lewis stands on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Sunday, March 4, 2018, in Selma, Ala., during the annual commemoration of "Bloody Sunday," the day in 1965 when voting rights protesters were attacked by police as they attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge. (Albert Cesare/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)

    Albert Cesare

  • Bloody-Sunday-Anniversary-4

    Martin Luther King III stands on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Sunday, March 4, 2018, in Selma, Ala., during the annual commemoration of "Bloody Sunday," the day in 1965 when voting rights protesters were attacked by police as they attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge. (Albert Cesare/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)

    Albert Cesare

  • Bloody-Sunday-Anniversary-5

    Congressman John Lewis walks with Joan M. Mooney, The Faith & Politics Institute president, on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Sunday, March 4, 2018, in Selma, Ala., during the annual commemoration of "Bloody Sunday," the day in 1965 when voting rights protesters were attacked by police as they attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge. (Albert Cesare/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)

    Albert Cesare

  • Bloody-Sunday-Anniversary-6

    Senator Doug Jones walks with his wife, Louise, on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Sunday, March 4, 2018, in Selma, Ala., during the annual commemoration of "Bloody Sunday," the day in 1965 when voting rights protesters were attacked by police as they attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge. (Albert Cesare/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)

    Albert Cesare

SELMA, Ala. — Several members of Congress joined civil rights activists and others Sunday afternoon for the annual commemoration of a day of racial violence in Selma dating to 1965.

A bipartisan group including Rep. John Lewis of Georgia led the crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge. 

It was to recall “Bloody Sunday,” when voting rights protesters were attacked by police as they attempted to cross the bridge.

“It’s very meaningful to come back here, to come back to this historic site and be here with so many wonderful people. It’s a beautiful day here today in Selma,” Lewis said as he was surrounded by his peers, the Selma Times-Journal reported.

Lewis, then a young organizer, was among those injured then. 

That violence set the stage for the Selma-to-Montgomery march, which helped build support for congressional approval of the Voting Rights Act months later.

Sen. Kamala Harris from California, who spoke at the Martin and Coretta King Unity Breakfast, said she felt a mixture of emotions walking across the bridge.

“It’s bittersweet,” Harris said. “It’s sadness and pain at the thought of what they endured 53 years ago, but it’s also inspiration about again fighting for the best of who we are and honoring those who have been heroes and are still heroes.”

The annual celebration drew tens of thousands of people in 2015, when then-President Barack Obama spoke near the base of the bridge as former President George W. Bush listened.


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