Fifty years after Alabama troopers savagely attacked demonstrators protesting discriminatory practices that kept black voters from the polls, thousands of people gathered here Sunday to mark the anniversary of the attack that shocked Americans and helped usher in the landmark Voting Rights of 1965.
Despite authorities’ concerns that the crowed of thousands might be unsafe on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, people continued to march across it through the afternoon.
The faithful had gathered at the city’s churches ahead of what has become an annual tradition here: a mass march across the bridge where 600 peaceful marchers were attacked by law enforcement armed with billy clubs and tear gas on what became known as Bloody Sunday.
Timothy Hollins, 43, of Atlanta, said he thought about the people who crossed the bridge on March 7, 1965, and the bravery they showed.
“It’s just humbling to think what they went through in every aspect of their lives,” Hollins said. “The people who lived here … Their lives were in jeopardy every day. It didn’t end with that bridge crossing.”
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