“Foot Soldiers” Walk In Rememberance of King

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) - Forty-seven years ago, thousands of African Americans walked arm in arm across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on their way out of Selma headed to Montgomery.

The Freedom Marchers, led by Doctor Martin Luther King Jr., were fighting for change.

Those who marched with King that day are still keeping his dream alive today.

On a blustery, sun soaked morning; marchers from across the Shoals sing spirituals as they walk down the streets of Florence.

Those in the walk are here to remember the men and women who followed Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. step for step, bringing change to a country in turmoil.

Reverend Charlie Burgess was one of King’s foot soldiers, “Keeping the dream alive, because I know what we went through.”

Reverend Burgess says he was there when thousands marched in Selma; he was in Birmingham when dogs and fire hoses were unleashed on them.

Franklin County Reverend Charles Dale marched along-side King as a "Foot Soldier"; Dale’s name is etched into the stone that honors Doctor King in Washington DC.

“God is watching and he’s bringing us together,” Reverend Dale explained. “And there is a revolt that there is those who are against this change, but it is going to come whether we like it or not.”

With today’s march, both men know the significance of honoring their civil rights leader, and celebrating the second inauguration of the first African American President of the United States.

“Dr. Martin Luther King and those of us that marched with him opened up the doors for today,” said Burgess.

Both of the pastors say that when they started the civil rights marches, they only saw a glimpse of the Promised Land.

They never thought they would have seen an African American President, or one that was voted into office twice, in their life.