*Alternate* First Reading: Excerpt from John Lewis’ Address on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, March 7, 2015

I tell you it’s good to be in Selma one more time,  just one more time. People often ask me, “Why do you come back?” “What purpose does it serve?” We come to Selma to be renewed. We come to be inspired. We come to be reminded that we must do the work that justice and equality calls us to do.

On March 7, 1965, a few innocent children of God, some carrying only a bedroll, a few clutching a simple bag, a plain purse or a backpack, were inspired to walk 50 dangerous miles from Selma to Montgomery to demonstrate the need for voting rights in the state of Alabama.

On that day, on that day, 600 people marched into history, walking two by two down this sidewalk, not interfering with the free flow of trade and commerce, not interfering with traffic, with a kind of military discipline.

We were so peaceful, so quiet, no one saying a word. We were beaten, teargassed. Some of us was left bloody right here on this bridge. Seventeen of us were hospitalized that day.

But we never became bitter or hostile. We kept believing that the truth we stood for would have the final say.

The Words of John Lewis.

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