Roanoke commemorates Bloody Sunday

Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 11:36 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - It’s been 58 years since Civil Rights leaders marched in Selma, AL in support of voting rights for African Americans. The Roanoke Southern Christian Leadership Conference was joined by the community to commemorate what is known today as Bloody Sunday.

“We cannot forget about the sacrifices of our ancestors and our elders, who walked hand in hand for our right to vote. And we cannot act like it didn’t exist, or it didn’t happen,” said Sean Burch, pastor of Spirit of Unity Baptist Church.

The community gathered at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Bridge and Statue. It was a time to remember, but also focus on continuing to fight for voting rights for everyone.

“We have a commitment with the government, with our country, that all of us are created equally. And we have the same rights as everybody else. And somehow or another, someone forgot that. So we now have to make sure that we don’t let them forget that. That’s why it’s important that we have to keep on going whatever corner we got to go around, whatever, we got to go through to make sure that every time elections come, whether it’s in the ballot, whether we have to walk to do it, but it’s important that we get there,” said Bishop Edward Mitchell with the Roanoke SCLC.

The message was clear: to move forward, everyone has to work together.

“I appreciated the love that everybody showed one another. And I just think that if we can continue to fill our valley and world with love and peace, we can accomplish the greatest feats,” said Burch.