“So much of our turbulent history — the stain of slavery and anguish of civil war, the yoke of segregation and tyranny of Jim Crow, the death of four little girls in Birmingham, and the dream of a Baptist preacher — met on this bridge,” Obama told the crowd under a broiling sun. “It was not a clash of armies, but a clash of wills; a contest to determine the meaning of America. “
“There’s still work left to be done.Get out there and push and pull until we redeem the soul of America.”
“For me this could be the end of the journey since I’m 72,” she said. “I’m stepping back into the history we made.”
“Fifty years from ‘Bloody Sunday’, our march is not yet finished,” Obama said. “But we are getting closer.
“Two hundred and thirty-nine years after this nation’s founding, our union is not yet perfect. But we are getting closer. Our job’s easier because somebody already got us through that first mile. Somebody already got us over that bridge.”
“If you think nothing’s changed in the past 50 years, ask somebody who lived through the Selma or Chicago or L.A. of the ’50s,” he said. “Ask the female CEO who once might have been assigned to the secretarial pool if nothing’s changed. Ask your gay friend if it’s easier to be out and proud in America now than it was 30 years ago. To deny this progress – our progress – would be to rob us of our own agency, our responsibility to do what we can to make America better.”