Marchers finish historic trek at capitol steps

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - After miles of marching, they finally made it to the end.

"It's just an incredible journey.  I didn't think I had it in me," says Kimberly Chatman.

The last leg of the famous Selma to Montgomery March reenactment started at St. Jude Educational Institute in Montgomery and ended at the state capitol.

But for Chatman, the trek began in Selma...a week ago.

"I couldn't believe the hills.  Back to back, the hills. First day, my fingers were swollen," she says.

Chatman says marching the more than 50 miles to commemorate the original march to Montgomery in 1965 helped her understand what so many went through so she could vote.

"I didn't know it was that tough. Books, literature cannot teach you this experience."

Young and old met up with the marchers to walk up Dexter Avenue Saturday morning--even some, including Annie Pearl Avery, from the original group 45 years ago.

"Bloody Sunday, I was beaten and arrested. And it was a horrific situation," says Avery.

Now, she's leaving the future to folks like Chatman.

"This is the beginning of a new era for us. These are the new foot soldiers," she says.

Chatman's answering the call by exercising the rights so many fought to secure.

"I vote every election."

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