Fifty years ago in 1963, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King inspired a nation by declaring a vision of an America where all men were created equal and entitled to the promises of the Constitution. Yesterday, thousands gathered at the Lincoln Memorial to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington that marked the turning of the tide in the civil rights movement. Following the events, Congressman Conyers gave the following reflections:
"There are so many memories I have carried throughout these last 50 years since the March in 1963. I will never forget Dr. Kings powerful voice on that day, the very voice that challenged the conscience of our Nation and inspired movement for great changes in our nation's values and politics. Today, the first black President of the United States, Barack Obama, voiced some of the similar tensions and struggles that we faced then and are still facing today," said Conyers.
"In the 50 years since Dr. King articulated the dream of that generation, the United States has seen significant progress toward the ideal of racial equality. However, Dr. King believed that if one of us was not free, then none of us were free. As we face the continuing struggles for equality for ever more diverse groups in our nation, the words of Dr. King still provide inspiration and guidance.
"The President sounded the call for action on the road to greater equality. I believe that we must not turn back the clock on Dr. Kings grand vision of equality, reconciliation, acceptance and instead, use this anniversary as a reminder of what is at stake for our nation. Thankfully, we do not have to wait another 50 years to fulfill this dream. Congress can act to create jobs, reform our immigration system, protect the right to health care for all, and ensure that the damage done to voting rights by the Supreme Court is undone.
"I applaud President Obama, the embodiment of this dream, and the King family for their commitment to lead our Nation to being a more perfect union."