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March on Washington, 1963

It was August 1963 in Hartford, Connecticut. I was 24 years old. I was a mom. I was white. I had heard about the March—everyone had—and I knew I had to go. I wanted to be part of the movement, I wanted to help make a statement.

The morning of August 28th came: I arrived in Washington, DC, with a few friends. There was a sense of history in the air. The police were tense and rigid, yet the crowd remained joyous. Color didn't matter; blacks and whites came together, hugging—there was no difference between us.

Music set the mood—Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, The Mamas and The Papas—these artists and their songs were the poetry of our time. We were never going to stop. We had no fear.

You could feel the thunder on the ground. I can still feel the ground under my feet moving, conjuring up the memory of what ended up being one of the largest political rallies for human rights in United States history.

Times were changing. Hundreds of thousands of people had gathered in this one place to stand up for jobs and freedom—seeing it come together and knowing activists made it happen was a very powerful feeing. The voices of each and every American could make a difference.

The March helped me see just how much there was to stand up for. In the five decades since, I have been devoted to activism. To this day, I continue to volunteer for Organizing for Action to ensure the voices of the American people are being represented.

Saturday, nearly fifty years later, I attended an event to commemorate the anniversary of the March. Reverend Al Sharpton renewed our mission to go back and continue working. He brought it all together: We need to keep fighting, we need to keep the dream alive.

Connie Lynd pictured with Kevin O'Connor at a recent event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington

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