WASHINGTON — Tens of thousands gathered Saturday on the nation's "front yard," the National Mall near the Lincoln Memorial, yearning for a bit of the transcendent sense of racial unity heralded on this spot by Martin Luther King 50 years ago in his "I Have a Dream" speech.
From the steps where King spoke, early speakers ranging from former NAACP chairman Julian Bond to the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. raised myriad themes of voting rights, widening economic disparity and racial issues in America that, despite so many advances, remain unfinished business to this day.
Jackson punctuated remarks with the refrain "keep dreaming."
Aging veterans of the original March on Washington gathered with younger generations, amassing a crowd that in contrast was more female, more Hispanic, more diverse by sexual orientation and far more tech-savvy than in 1963.
Sixteen-year-old Qion Nicholson's only knowledge of the original march was what he learned in school. Arriving by bus from Asbury Park, N.J., he said he now feels part of that history going forward.
"I'm grateful to be living in today's era," says Nicholson, of Sayreville. "The (original) march meant so much for our country."
Edited by Guidette - Aug 24 2013 at 10:15am