Today my son and I had the privilege to experience the 50th anniversary of the Bloody Sunday march in Selma, Alabama commemorating the fight for voting rights.
The day began as we left our accommodations in nearby Prattville, Alabama, about an hour’s drive from Selma. My primary concern was parking, and by the grace of God, a local church opened up its property to accommodate visitors and they assured us they would be there all day to watch the vehicles.
We made our way down town where we saw a massive line weaving around several blocks. We inquired and were told the people standing in line were in anticipation of seeing the President give his speech. It was approximately 8 a.m. and the speech was scheduled for 1 p.m.
My son and I resolved to not stand in the gigantic line. Instead I followed him around as he captured photos.
About an hour passed and where we were positioned it became easy for us to merge into the massive line. My son stated “this may be our only chance” We both resolved to give it a go and we found ourselves in the massive line. At some point we realized this was line was headed for a security checkpoint. It was there where we would be cleared to move inside the perimeter.
Once in the perimeter it was still about a 3 hour wait. We bumped into some people we knew. Met some very interesting people along the way. At some point we made a decision to leave the perimeter. We wandered back to the parked car, retrieved some snacks and made out way to Selma University. We were able to take in a symposium with very profound speakers. We walked back to the car. By this time the massive crowd that had witnessed president was now returning to their vehicles. Traffic was ultra-chaotic. By graced of God, we decided to go in the opposite direction and bypassed a large percent of chaos.
It was an enlightening day and I am grateful for the privilege. Most memorable was meeting people who had experienced the march 50 years ago and hearing their personal recollection of events and their lifelong pursuit to keep the passion alive.