Orange County Branch NAACP members journeyed by bus to Washington, D.C. and back over the weekend together with other nearby Florida Branches and groups. They joined the tens of thousands in the national march of August 24th and its related 50th years ‘I Have a Dream’ observances. The Orange County members said it was a privilege and pleasure to join in the pilgrimage “To Realize The Dream.” The national endeavor was referred to as including a combination of homage to a generation that endured civil abuse and disenfranchisement and now more recently to facilitate today’s overdue and unfinished business of justice and equality for all, remembering Dr. King and the recent Trayvon Martin case.
The Orlando attendees motored in the early a.m. from their hotel in nearby Virginia to the Smithsonian/Mall area to meet at the noticeably well organized and well behaved gathering and proceeded on to the Memorial speech area. After which they joined the grand March for its culmination at the recently erected Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Statue.
One member stated being too young to attend the original March celebrated 50 years ago, but that he did get to join the previous bus trip in 1983 from Orlando to Washington for the 20th celebration. He further stated how very empowering this time to notice the intergenerational bus passengers mixture: of school children aged from elementary, middle and high school; senior citizens; young and middle-aged adults and everyone. He also relished in the active inference and possibilities of this mixture to produce a healthy continuation and viable future for the American inclusion for minorities and people of color.
Another attendee also expressed exhilaration at seeing both so many people 18 years and younger and among the vast dynamic and peaceful mixture of all ages, races, ethnicity, social classes, creed faiths and personal persuasions. She also referenced the pleasure and welcomed camaraderie all along when standing as well as seated on the grounds and sharing the events. All enjoined experiencing with the apparent welcomed awe at the many enlightening and inspiring speakers presented who well informed everyone of the status today and the true intention and meaning of the occasion.
At the finish of the day the group assembled and shortly left for its return to Orlando with proudly deserved memories of their participation in a historic and rare occasion of present day civil rights and civil justice. Yet, they expressed the shared thoughts of returning home and seeing if they can help in activating their community’s and America’s future of equality for all. The attendees appeared very glad that they took the time for the trip that they reported as pleasantly intense, enjoyable, and unforgettable and has raised appreciative thought of both today and the memorable August, 1963 date.