SELMA, Ala. (WIAT) — Despite the tornado last week, Selma city leaders said this year’s commemoration of Bloody Sunday marches on.
Those who organize the Bridge Crossing Jubilee said this year’s march is more important than ever after a tornado last week left a path of destruction in the city.
Organizers Thursday spoke in unison a new motto for the event:
“Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee 2023. Now more than ever.”
Former State Senator Hank Sanders said the tornado has not slowed any plans for the Bridge Crossing.
“This devastation makes it important for people to be able to gather and people to be able to share, but it’s also important that people help to rebuild,” Sanders said.
The jubilee draws thousands to Selma to commemorate Bloody Sunday. That’s when civil rights protestors crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge to demonstrate for voting rights and were beaten by state troopers in 1965.
Continuing the march despite the devastation is something George Sallie said is important.
“If somebody don’t continue it, it will repeat itself,” Sallie said.
Sallie was one of the original foot soldiers who faced violence on that bridge 58 years ago.
“See that scar there?” Sallie said. “That’s where that scar come from. Bloody Sunday.”
City leaders said this year they want people to do more than just attend the march.
“We don’t need people just to come here and walk,” Dallas County Probate Judge Jimmy Nunn said. “We don’t need people to come here and talk, but we need for you to leave some financial dollars here in Selma, Dallas County.”
Organizers recommend donating to the Black Belt Community Foundation, the Bridge Crossing Jubilee or any other organization helping with recovery efforts.
This year’s event will take place March 5 with other events happening that weekend as well, including the Selma to Montgomery March.