President Barack Obama will be joined by former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter in a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington on August 28, the actual anniversary of the historic event.
The three will appear and deliver remarks at the “Let Freedom Ring Commemoration and Call to Action” at the Lincoln Memorial where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech on Aug. 28, 1963.
The Let Freedom Ring Commemoration and Call to Action event will take place from 11:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the Lincoln Memorial. 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 3:00 p.m. EST, “a half-century to the very minute after Dr. King delivered his historic address,” according to a news 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,” Clinton said in the statement. “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.”
The event, four days after thousands are expected to gather for a march scheduled for August 24, is one of a host of activities in conjunction with the Aug. 28 anniversary commemoration, organizers said.
Those activities include an Interfaith Prayer Service at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial prior to the Let Freedom Ring Commemoration.
“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 in Atlanta. “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.”
Coalition members for the August 28 event include the A. Philip Randolph Institute, the King Center, the NAACP, the National Action Network, the National Coalition of Black Civic Participation, the National Council of Negro Women, the National Urban League, the Southern Leadership Conference and the National Park Service. For more information, go to www.mlkdream50.com.
Details on the August 24 activities can be found at www.nationalactionnetwork.net