Quotes, reaction to March on Washington

WASHINGTON (AP) — Statements in observance of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech:

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“My parents did their fair share and I feel like we have to keep the fight alive… This is hands-on history.” —Frantz Walker, 46, a honey salesman from Baltimore, who attended the anniversary march with his son Nicholas, 10, and daughter, Malaika, 8, since his parents were active in civil rights movement.

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“Whether it’s protecting voting rights, providing equal rights to the LGBT community, or making sure that people with disabilities have the opportunity to live fulfilling lives, the work to complete Dr. King’s dream is far from finished.” — Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.

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“He was a pastor, he was a prophet, he was a faith leader. It was that faith and the spirit of God that infused that movement.” — The Rev. Bernice King, daughter.

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“I thought we would be a lot further along than we are 50 years after hearing King’s speech.” —John Pruitt, 83, of Huntsville, Ala., a voter rights advocate who attended both the anniversary ceremony and 1963 march.

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“In many ways, this singular event redefined the American experience and, to this day, Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream of an America without the burdens of prejudice and discrimination remains an unparalleled vision of our county’s potential.” — Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla.

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“Dr. King was on this Earth just 39 years, but the ideals that guided his life of conscience and purpose are eternal…There’s still a need for every American to help hasten the day when Dr. King’s vision is made real in every community — when what truly matters is not the color of a person’s skin, but the content of their character.” —President George W. Bush.

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“The disability rights movement that I’m a part of that I dedicate my life to is actually an extension of the original civil rights movement. I wanted to do everything I can to school the boys in the ways of the civil rights movement and not just generally but how it effects them personally.” —Ollie Cantos, 43, a lawyer from Arlington, Va., who attended the commemorative ceremony with his 14-year-old triplets, Leo, Nick and Steven.

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“Today we honor the vision and dedication of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the hundreds of thousands of Americans who came to our nation’s capital to demand an end to discrimination. We are forever grateful for their courage, commitment, and capacity to change the course of our nation’s history.” — Rep. Alan Grayson, R-Fla.

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“It’s a history lesson that they can take with them for the rest of their lives.” —Jerome Williams, 57, a plumber from Washington, D.C., who attended the anniversary ceremony with his wife and two children.

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