Missourians Celebrate 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

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JEFFERSON CITY - Missourians celebrated the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington Wednesday afternoon on the state capitol grounds.

Missouri's March on Washington Committee organized the event.

On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial calling for an end to racism in America.

"The reason why we march, the reason why we rally, the reason why we remember, is that we can't afford to sit on the accomplishments and all those things that Dr. King and others did in those days, is that we have to move this agenda forward because there are those that would turn back the clock if we would allow it to happen," Missouri NAACP President Mary Ratliff said.

A major theme of hope surrounded Wednesday's event. Attendees and speakers agreed that while there have been significant changes made since Martin Luther King, Jr. made his speech, there is still more that needs to be done to improve race relations.

"You don't have to solve the whole problem, but contribute a little bit to the solution. Don't be part of the problem, be part of the solution, I think that's what he would say," Missouri March on Washington Committee Administrator, Roxy Antonio, said.

Committee Chairman Walter J. Pearson said everyone needs to "Be the Dream". He said in order to do that we all must be educated, be prepared to be utilized and be unselfish.

The event included performances by the Lincoln University Vocal Ensemble and excerpts read from MLK's famous speech.

The event ended with a moment of silence across the capitol grounds.