50th Anniversary Of King's Speech Celebrated At Lincoln Memorial - KMSP-TV

50th Anniversary Of King's Speech Celebrated At Lincoln Memorial

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -

"We have much to do before we can celebrate the dream as a reality."

Martin Luther King, Junior's sister, Christine King Farris spoke those words today from the same steps in Washington, D.C. where her brother, 50 years ago, told the world about his dream.

Today, a half a century later, Doctor King's dream of equality is being remembered.

Bells rang out at the "Let Freedom Ring" commemoration at the exact hour that Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior delivered his now famous vision.

The unforgettable voice paved the way for a special moment. President Obama, the nation's first black president stood exactly where Dr. King stood and reflected on the progress and the work that remains.

"No one can match King's brilliance but the same flame that lit the heart of all who are willing take the first step for justice, I know that flame remains," says Obama.

The program also brought Myrlie Evers-Williams, the wife of deceased civil rights leader Medgar Evers, to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. She was scheduled to appear in 1963 but was unable to attend.

"We will reach that mountain top and we will overcome," she told the crowd.

The mood was at times emotional.

"So happy to share this with my daughter," said a woman in the crowd.

And other times, the mood focused on examples where the dream is falling short today.

"I'm affected by the Travyvon Martin situation. I was affected by Newtown," says actor Jamie Foxx:

"They come with laws that tell people to stand their ground," says Reverend Al Sharpton.

Standing between three president's on one side and the King family on the other, Congressman John Lewis, the last surviving speaker of the original 1963 march challenged the nation, as Dr. King did, to make good on its promise.

"We may have come here on different ships but we are in the same boat now," says Lewis.

President Obama and others also pointed out that the original march was about jobs and economic justice, noting black unemployment remains almost twice the national average.

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