Monday, March 9, 2015

Edmund Pettus Bridge

This weekend was the 50th Anniversary of the Martin Luther King March from Selma to Montgomery.  The issue at this time was the Right to Vote.  The Blacks had the right to vote, but here in the South, they were kept from registering to vote by Militant Police and other leaders by making unusual requirements such as being able to answer questions like “How many bubbles in a bar of Soap”  or making them stand in line outside the Registration place, only letting whites go in and then telling them the office was closed and they would have to come back another day.  The black people were prohibited from having any public meetings, so they met within their churches.  Browns Chapel in Selma was where the March originated.  The first March ended at the east end of the Edmund Pettus Bridge when the State Trooper where waiting for them to drive them back across the bridge.  That day is called, “Bloody Sunday”.  President Lyndon Johnson stepped in a prepared the way for the march to take place.  Only 300 people were allowed to cross the bridge and march to Montgomery, about 45 miles.  It took several days and they were fed by the people as they passed by their houses.  When they arrived in Montgomery, the march quickly became ten thousand marchers. Changes were made

Our District Leader asked that all 10 of the missionaries in our District meet in Selma at the parade route and give out pass -along cards and Books of Mormon.   We heard that they expected 10,000 people to come into Selma.  The number was much greater.  President Obama and President Bush and their families came to town. They were in the parade, but the safety precautions they have to take now days, we could only see the big black SUV’s that looked so formidable.  You could not see in the windows and they did not drive in a parade.   We left after the parade and had our District meeting and then we thought we would try to see the Presidents.  NO WAY!  There were cars parked everywhere you could think to park a car.  People walking and walking.  We later learned that President Obama spoke at the base of the bridge on the west side of the Alabama River.  About 2:30 the dignitaries started their march across the bridge.  President Obama, his wife and two daughters, President Bush and his wife and many other government officials made the march. 
Today, Sunday, the official reenactment of the Bridge Crossing took place.  The people were lined up from onside of the street to the other...shoulder to shoulder; standing in line more than a block long.  It was estimated that there were 50,000 people making the crossing.    Because we were just young adults (22 years old) when this all took place, it was a special opportunity to be here at this anniversary. 

We just wanted to share this experience with y’all.  We are so grateful to live in the part of the world we live in and to have grown up with such freedom and to have been taught that we are all God’s children and to treat them as such.  We love each of you and pray for you happiness and obedience.  Love Grandma and Grandpa

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