Local group travels Washington, D.C. for March on Washington - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Local group travels Washington, D.C. for March on Washington

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A group of folks from Birmingham is on the way to Washington, D.C. It's to celebrate the 50th year commemoration of the March on Washington. This group is excited about this historical moment.

Even all the excitement, there was sense of seriousness. Everyone on the bus was aware of the significance of leaving from Birmingham, the place where so much of the civil rights movement took place.

Old familiar songs rang out as everyone loaded the bus and settled into their seats.

Elaine Harrington says this trip is special for her. She attended the march and rally at the Lincoln Memorial fifty years ago.

"The crowd was so courteous and so gentle and so kind. And it seemed that we were there all on one accord," said Harrington.

Back then, the focus of the march was jobs and freedom, both pressing issues at the time. Harrington says even today we're not in the clear. She has concerns she hopes will be addressed this time around.

"We have the issue of course of the voting rights and the voting rights act. We have the issues of stop and frisk. We still have the issues of jobs and unemployment. We still have the issues of education,"

For some, the trip to D.C. was about personal growth and enrichment. Twenty-eight year old Kabe Waldrop was one of the youngest on the bus. He was also the only white person.

"It's not just African Americans or white Americans. It's everybody's responsibility to stand up for everyone's rights," he said.

Waldrop says he sees the trip as an opportunity place himself into history.

"I think it's a chance to kind of see how things have changed. And I figured I would be able to meet a lot of people who maybe have been here before," said Waldrop.

As for Harrington, she moves a little slower than she did fifty years ago, and now has to travel with a cane. Still, her enthusiasm remains. And she hopes she's met with a similar atmosphere she remembers from 1963.

"I'm hoping when we get to Washington D.C. We will have that kind of spirit because the issues, whether you know it or not, are still in front of us," said Harrington.

For those who could not travel today, there will be a re-enactment march in Birmingham Saturday. Participants will walk from the Hugo Black Federal Building, to the NAACP headquarters. It starts at noon. 

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