Forty eight years ago today, some 600 civil rights marchers headed east out of Selma, Alabama toward Montgomery. The demonstrators only made it six blocks to the Edmond Pettus Bridge before they were confronted by state and local police carrying billy clubs and tear gas for what infamously became known as "Bloody Sunday."
At the time, Alabama governor George Wallace--known for his declaration of "segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever,"-- ordered the march to be stopped on grounds of public safety. Wallace's strong words and actions have left a dark stain of bigotry and discrimination on his family's legacy--one his daughter, Peggy Kennedy Wallace is looking to change.
Today, Kennedy Wallace, who is writing a book about the impact her father's politics had on his family, has walked across Edmond Pettus Bridge hand in hand with Congressman John Lewis.
"I told him, 'I've crossed many bridges in my life, and I'll cross many, many more. But the most important bridge I'll ever cross in my life is the one I crossed with you,' in 2009," she said.
Lewis, who was recently moved to tears when an Alabama police chief apologized for failing to protect the Freedom Riders during a trip to Montgomery, was badly beaten on the bridge that fateful day.
It's the same sort of growth that Kennedy Wallace says she's aiming to achieve for her family, herself and others.
"I just would like for my children to not remember where my father stood, but where I am standing now."