In continuation of the theme of being in the right place at the right time (knock on wood), there were several very prominent politicians also in Selma. Here are just a few: one former president, Bill Clinton, and two people running for president in 2008, Senators Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama. Senator Clinton spoke at the First Baptist Church and Senator Obama spoke at the AME Brown Chapel-- the churches are a couple blocks away from each other.
My parents and I decided to try to see Senator Obama speak and suprised ourselves by actually getting in. We were very moved listening to the entire service at Brown Chapel-- the exact place where the March started 42 years ago. I was so moved as well by listening to Mr. Obama who could very well be the first African American president. Follow the link to hear what Senator Obama said yesterday.
After the church service, Senator Clinton walked down from the First Baptist Church and we got to hear her speak as well. How moving as well to hear from a woman who could be the first woman to be president of the United States. Follow the link here to see what she had to say. The crowd cheered loudly for both senators, and no matter what the news reports may say-- there was nothing but unity in Selma yesterday.
So then: get this.... I said farewell to my parents. They were SO bummed, having to leave before the actual bridge crossing. Anyway, I turned around and saw a few people-- at the end of what was starting to be the march through Selma-- running into the neighborhood across the street from Brown Chapel. I was curious, so I followed and WOW!!!! Dear Reader, there in front of me was former president Bill Clinton. He was here to be with his wife Hilary- but also to get an award from the National Voting Rights Museum. He was also being followed by MANY reporters and tons of people who saw him and wanted to shake his hand. Well I of course wanted to do the same, and I did! People were so full of joy having seen Obama, Hilary Clinton, and now Bill Clinton (a few told me they would wait awhile before washing their hands). He had come to the Jubilee before and as I walked with the marchers I kept talking to people and hearing how they had now gotten to meet him twice! He is very loved here and seemed thrilled to be in Selma yesterday.
What a great day in Selma yesterday. Check out the pictures of the event here. And what an honor to be part of history. The biggest lesson for me in the last few days is this: EVERYONE that can vote should vote. EVERYONE. People died for the right to vote. They were beaten, lynched, shot-- all for the right for every single person 18 or older to vote without having to count the number of jellybeans in a jar, prove they have money, or take a literacy test. So there you have it dear reader. Look forward to turning 18 for that very reason. And if you're older than that.... I hope you vote in every election.
Cheers! The next time I write to you will be from Birmingham.