Like many communities and organizations across the country, Columbus participated in a "Let Freedom Ring Ceremony"at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School. About 100 people showed up to ring hand bells to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. At the school, King's final refrain of the speech echoed among those gathered, who "let freedom ring" by ringing bells in celebration of a powerful moment in civil rights history.
"It was only appropriate that we joined the rest of the cities in the United States of America by ringing in 3 p.m. on August 28th, 50 years to the moment that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. finished his "I Have a Dream" speech," says Mayor Teresa Tomlinson.
Sallie Lee grew up in Washington D.C. and, as a young girl, witnessed the civil rights movement. She says Dr. King's dream has come true, but isn't complete.
"It's really something that we've come a long way, but we really got a long way to go, and just to remember him and to know what he did for our country, I'm glad to see that being done and teaching our children about our history ," says Lee.
Lee hopes children of today's generation will grasp the significance of what happened 50 years ago.
"I know the struggle through my grandparents. I know what the struggle was for our people and to see us all come together just right in here little children, it's significant," says Lee.
The mayor and Muscogee County School Superintendent David Lewis joined parents, teachers and children at the "Let Freedom Ring" ceremony. Lewis says he was a young child during Dr. King's Speech, but remembers it vividly.
"At the time I heard the words, but we didn't really understand the meaning of it," says Lewis. "Fortunately I had a good teacher at the time; she recounted for us the meaning of that for all of us as children going forward. It's great to see that's been being done today."
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