Atlantans converge on the Lincoln Memorial to celebrate Let Free - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Atlantans converge on the Lincoln Memorial to celebrate Let Freedom Ring

Plenty of Atlantans are celebrating the dream. The city is well represented in the nations capitol on this historic day, from families to dignitaries.

Atlantans said they're humbled to be from the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And it's because of that, they felt compelled to be in Washington, D.C., and to advance the dream. 

"It is probably one of the greatest days in my life. One of the most special and meaningful days," Laura Turner Sydell said.

Turner Sydell was chosen to be one of the speakers at the Lincoln Memorial, 50 years after Dr. King and other civil rights leaders, including Congressman John Lewis, addressed the nation, marching for jobs and freedom.

"He has given his own blood so all of us can have freedom and justice and unify our voices and now that we have, we need to start talking about environmental issues and protecting our children's health," Turner Sydell said. 

Rev. Raphael Warnock of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Dr. King used to preach, calls this anniversary and the celebration of the dream symbolic.

"Fifty years ago Dr. King gave the keynote address and 50 years later not only a sitting president, but several other presidents will speak. It is as if the nation recognizes the wisdom of Dr. King, and at the same time, we have a long way to go," Warnock said. 

National Park Ranger, Jan Buerger, said Dr. King was as influential in her life as her parents were.

"Martin Luther King, Jr. was greatly influential to all of us my age, and who remember either being here, or seeing him preach on TV, and we were greatly thankful to him for doing something about the horrible, horrible nature of what the blacks were being subjected to, that's a little bit improved now, but we have a long way to go," Buerger said.

"It is our hope and our prayer that the spirit of our coming together in this holy place will somehow reverberate throughout the entire country," Warnock said.

Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved. 

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