43 years ago, on March 7, marchers began the day preparing to travel by foot to Montgomery, the Capitol, to protest the killing of Jimmy Lee Jackson and to demand voting rights. Sheriff Jim Clark and his posse awaited them at the foot of the Emund Pettus Bridge--on the only route out of Selma. As the marchers, led by John Lewis and Hosea Williams, crested the bridge, the first image they saw was that of State Troopers, many on horseback, who formed a wide crescent at the foot of the bridge. The horror that the marchers felt at the moment of attack by the troopers is unimaginable. Even as Ms. Joanne Bland described her experience as a 12 year old, we could feel the pain and the fear she experienced. No one can take that away from her, it is hers forever, and she must deal with it every day as Selma is her home where the Edmund Pettus Bridge looms over the center of this small town.
The Freedom Summer 08 class marched over this bride as part of her tour. The tension and emotion universally affected the students as they reached they themselves crested the Bridge and peared over to the foot of the Bridge where Clark's posse met the original marchers. This experience is one I am sure they will never forget as I have not been able to myself.