On the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, state, local and city leaders gathered in Annapolis Aug. 28 for the dedication of “the nation’s first memorial to the 250,000 foot soldiers of the March.”
Built by the Annapolis-based Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee Inc., the Civil Rights Foot Soldiers Memorial was formally unveiled Wednesday at Annapolis’ Whitmore Park near City Dock.
The 2.5-ton granite memorial includes the names of more than 500 people, dubbed the “ordinary citizens who risked the threat of personal harm to magnify the impact of the words of the civil rights leaders who spoke” during the 1963 March on Washington.
Whitmore Park was the site of a bus depot from which Annapolis-area residents traveled to the march.
On Wednesday, officials commemorating that day included Sen. Ben Cardin, Reps. John P. Sarbanes and Donna F. Edwards, Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman, Annapolis Mayor Josh Cohen, King Committee Chairman Carl Snowden and others.
Those who are honored on the memorial came not only from Annapolis, but from all over Maryland as well as other parts of country.
Organizers said about 600 people attended Wednesday's event.
“We honor those leaders and 'soldiers' in the war against racial discrimination that made possible the second Emancipation Proclamation to end racial segregation and discrimination,” said Snowden in a statement.