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Local resident recalls attending March on Washington 50 years ago

U.S. government photo

The March on Washington 50 years ago today is bringing back special memories for some local residents who took part in the event.

"I had not previously participated in any demonstrations, but was enthusiastic and wanted change for civil rights," says Barbara Wilson of Buffalo.

Wilson says she marched with a group from her college and they quickly learned the words to "We Shall Overcome," as well as other freedom songs.

"The spirit was like that of a country fair, just very happy with everybody smiling and hopeful. We all sat on the grass around the reflecting pool," Wilson says.

Wilson says she had never heard Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speak before. She says hearing his "I Have a Dream" speech was "just thrilling."

"There was a rustle of excitement when he approached the podium and he gave that wonderful speech that was so enlightening and enthusiastic and just rose everybody to a new level of excitement," she recounts.