Next Wednesday, August 28, marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, the most famous civil rights rally in American history. To commemorate the milestone, the Annapolis-based Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee will unveil the nation’s first memorial to the 250,000 “foot soldiers” of the march, that is, the ordinary citizens who risked the threat of personal harm to be there that day. The public is invited to the unveiling of the Civil Rights Foot Soldiers Memorial, which includes the names of more than 500 participants. The ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. in Annapolis’ Whitmore Park on the corner of Clay and Cavert Streets, the site of a bus depot from which Annapolis residents traveled to the March. For further information, go to www.facebook.com/
Speakers at the unveiling of the over two ton granite memorial will include Senator Ben Cardin, Congressman John Sarbanes, Congresswoman Donna Edwards, Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman, Annapolis Mayor Josh Cohen, chairwoman of the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus Delegate Aisha Braveboy. and Martin Luther King Jr. Committee Chair Carl Snowden, as well as a local foot soldier. Many of those named on the memorial are expected to attend. Live and recorded gospel and pop music of the period will be performed.
The foot soldiers honored on the memorial come from all over Maryland as wells as other parts of country. These men and women played an important role in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
“We honor those leaders and “soldiers” in the war against racial discrimination that made possible the second Emancipation Proclamation to end racial segregation and discrimination, just as the first Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 led to the end of slavery in the US,” said Carl Snowden, Chairman of the Martin Luther King Jr. Committee.
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