Charleston, WV residents reflect on the 'March on Washington' - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Charleston residents reflect on the 'March on Washington' 50 years later

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Gov. Tomblin rings the liberty bell in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I have a dream' speech. Gov. Tomblin rings the liberty bell in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I have a dream' speech.
CHARLESTON, WV -

Hundreds of people packed the West Virginia Capitol Rotunda today to remember a pivotal date in history.

Fifty years ago Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous 'I have a dream' speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.  For Charleston resident Frances Shearin, attending the 50-year anniversary celebration brought her back to that hot summer D.C. Day.

"I saw a unity of people from all races, creeds and colors come together as a nations of people showing that they wanted some changes and those changes had to take place in the hearts of people," she said.

19-years-old at the time, Shearin was one of 250,000 to march on the National Mall. Today, she was one of hundreds celebrating at the Capitol Rotunda.

"Those reflections brought back painful memories and tearful times because some of the people I marched with are no longer here," Shearin said. 

Rev. Ron English boarded a bus from Atlanta to Washington, D.C.50 years ago. He too was at the march and stood less than 100 feet away from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"We didn't think that it would be commemorated 50 years later as it is today but there was a feeling that it was a special time," said English. 

Despite the progress that has been made, English and Shearin agree there is still more work that needs to be done, including looking past race.

"It makes me very sad because why did we do this? Why did we march? Why are we still marching and asking for the same thing we did on August 28, 1963," said Shearin. 

English says he hopes everyone will remember the importance of this day 50 years ago. He says he even has dreams for the younger generation for the next 50 years.

"The dream for them is that they would open their hearts and find that vision to fulfill their own dreams," he said. 

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was a peaceful demonstration attended by more than 250,000 people.