After crossing the bridge, I feel rededicated to my work to honor the courage and fulfill the dreams of those who fought and died for the rights of others. I was privileged to be in Selma for this anniversary and to march, without fear, across the bridge.
Just as the marchers from Selma to Montgomery applied pivotal pressure on Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act in 1965, the people most impacted by North Carolina's voter suppression law are fighting to make sure their voices are heard.
We are hearing a great deal from those in our society who would like to turn the clock back on voting rights, civil rights, and the right to peaceably assemble. But I believe there are many more people of good will among us than various news reports might lead us to believe. Hopefully, more of them will raise their voices in continuance of our search for "a more perfect Union."
It was for a jury of citizens, in a public trail, to judge whether Officer Wilson's justification defense was trustworthy and viable; and ultimately for a jury of citizens to render final judgment about whether Wilson should be held accountable for the death of Michael Brown.
College undergraduates are the newest members of our democracy. Suppressing the student vote is contrary to the democratic principles that we aspire to here at home, and that we seek to promote abroad.
Yes, we crossed the bridge half a century ago, and we crossed it again in a reenactment with the president this weekend, but 50 years from now at the 100th anniversary, we will be judged not by whether we brought a Black president to the bridge.
Fifty years after Bloody Sunday, I marched to the top of the Edmund Pettus Bridge with Mrs. Amelia Boynton Robinson, Congressman John Lewis, President Barack Obama, and many others.
Now is the time for us to speak out, join together and reclaim the promise of America. That starts by educating our students about the impact of the civil rights movement, acting collectively to achieve a renewal of the Voting Rights Act and redoubling our efforts to ensure all children grow up in safe communities with high-quality neighborhood public schools.
This weekend I am honored and humbled to join President Obama and the rest of the First Family, Congressman and Civil Rights hero John Lewis, dozens of my other Congressional colleagues and thousands of people from around the country as we gather in Selma, Alabama to mark the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act.
When our leaders say they honor those who were hospitalized for peaceful protest 50 years ago, will they also commit to fighting against discrimination and violence at the hands of those meant to serve and protect our communities? Selma is now, and the march continues.
The sad reality is that -- despite the considerable progress made in the last five decades -- we are still fighting to ensure voting rights for every American.
We cannot stay complacent or silent in the face of restrictive voting laws. The best way for us to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Selma is to recreate the energy that forced Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act in the first place.
As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, we must not forget that the fight for equal voting rights in the U.S. is far from over.
Honoring the foot soldiers of Selma is a great step forward on the march toward justice for those who sacrificed for us. However, the momentum must continue. There must be just as strong a showing of bipartisan support to fix the legislation for which they sacrificed, starting with congressional hearings and votes to move the bill forward.
I never get when people say, "I have no regrets." I will continue to apologize forever for my idiocy.
We cannot raise awareness about the heroines and heroes of history, and then turn around and be cowards 50 years later. This Congress must deal with overt moves among states to obstruct people's right to vote, and they must restore federal protections of voting rights.