Posted at: 08/28/2013 5:42 PM
| Updated at: 08/28/2013 5:46 PM
By: Dan Bazile
SAND LAKE -- Among the massive crowd estimated at about half a million in Washington, D.C. exactly 50 years ago, was a 21 year-old Robert Loesch.
"And I remember it very well," Loesch said.
The now Reverend Loesch, from Zion's United Church Of Christ Of Taborton in Sand Lake, remembers filling up five train cars from New Haven, Connecticut to Washington. He remembers throngs of people from all over the country, boarding buses, and driving their cars, eager to take part in history.
"It was so exciting to be among all these people who were all there because of the same cause of fighting for voting rights and civil rights," he said.
Then there was the iconic moment when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. took to the microphone.
"When you think about speeches, "Gettysburg Address" and "I have A Dream" speeches are probably the two greatest in American History," Loesch said.
"I have a dream," Dr. King said to the crowd in August 1963. " My 4 little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today."
Standing about twenty feet away as young college student studying theology, Reverend Loesch said he was in awe. At that time, there was a lot of pressure on Congress and the president to take action on civil rights. He said the march and the speech brought hope.
"It was a major period in history because a lot of the country was still not on board, was not seeing the importance of that," Loesch said.
Fast forward 50 years later and Loesch said some things have changed.
"I realize a lot of his dream has been fulfilled. We now have an African American president, which never could have happened back 50 years ago," he said.
But Loesch added the work goes on because people's rights are still at risk. And he emphasized doing it all peacefully, like Dr. King would have wanted.