President Barack Obama will be joined by former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter in a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington. The three will appear and deliver remarks at the “Let Freedom Ring Commemoration and Call to Action” event at the Lincoln Memorial where Dr. King delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.
The event will take place from 11:30 a.m.- 4 p.m. at the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28. King family members, along with a coalition of civil rights organizations, will honor Dr. King’s call to “let freedom ring” by ringing bells at 3 p.m. EST, “a half-century to the very minute after he delivered his historic address,” said a press release announcing the event.
“Martin Luther King’s unforgettable speech inspired millions of Americans to make a deeply personal commitment to racial equality and economic justice. Its wisdom and power continues to inspire us today. I’m honored to lend my voice to this important celebration of one of our greatest leaders and most historic days,” said, President Bill Clinton in the statement.
The event, four days after the Aug. 24 March on Washington, is one of a host of activities being held in conjunction with the anniversary commemoration.
Those activities also include a Global Freedom Festival, open to the public from Aug. 24-27 on the National Mall, and an Interfaith Prayer Service at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial prior to the commemoration event on Aug. 28.
Coalition members include the A. Philip Randolph Institute, The King Center, NAACP, National Action Network, National Coalition of Black Civic Participation, National Council of Negro Women, National Urban League, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the National Park Service. More information on the activities can be found at www.mlkdream50.com.
Details on the march can be found at www.nationalactionnetwork.net. “I’m honored to meet my father’s call to ‘let freedom ring’ with President Obama, President Clinton and President Carter,” said the Rev. Bernice A. King, chief executive officer of The King Center. “Together with people across America and the world, we will pause to mark the 50th anniversary of my father’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, affirming the unity of people of all races, religions and nations.”