Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) delivered remarks at the Rally prior to the National Action to Realize the Dream March to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Below are his remarks and a link to the video:
Click here to watch the video.
“Fifty years ago, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood here and put into mighty words the hopes, the dreams, the frustrations of millions of Americans, black and white, that the people of this land were not yet fully free – and that none could enjoy the promise of our democracy until all could enjoy it.
“We all know his famous words, the dream he shared of replacing disdain over brotherhood.
“His speech was a resonating call to action – one that impelled me and millions to channel our own commitment for civil rights into a life of activism for justice and equality.
“But what calls us here once more was the pronouncement by Dr. King that: ‘1963 is not an end but a beginning.’
“America today has much to be proud of, in no small part thanks to Dr. King, my friend and civil rights hero John Lewis, and the countless others – many whose names we do not know – who wrote, spoke out, stood up, marched, bled, languished in jail cells, sat-in, and endured what Dr. King called ‘creative suffering.’
“The historic election of President Obama testifies to the progress we have made – which would not have been possible if not for the millions who sacrificed and raised their voices for change.
“But we are here, all of us, to declare that we shall not rest, nor shall we be satisfied by the way things now stand.
“Too many of our people still inhabit islands of poverty and inequality.
“Too many despair at fewer opportunities to find good jobs that pay well and provide their families with a chance to reach the middle class.
“Too many have no voice in our democracy because they are told they have no valid I.D. with which to vote, or that they have to choose between going to work or to the polls on a Tuesday.
"We will not rest. That is our pledge today. It was our pledge in 1963, and a half century later, we renew that pledge. Let us march on. God bless you."