California woman travels to Selma to remember 'Bloody Sunday'

California woman travels to Selma to remember 'Bloody Sunday'
California native sits down to talk about her cross-country journey to Selma. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

SELMA, AL (WSFA) - San Francisco, California, is a long way from Selma, Alabama, but distance was not an issue this week for Clare Isaacs Wahrhaftig.

"The fact that these people weren't allowed to vote was terrible. It was un-American," Wahrhaftig explains.

She remembers all too well the original 'Bloody Sunday' in March of 1965, not because she was in Selma but because it was splashed on the nightly news across the country 50 years ago this weekend.

Wahrhaftig felt the tug to make the cross-country trip first by plane and later by bus.

"When Bloody Sunday was televised all over the country, today you would say it went viral. It was sort of like after 9/11, everywhere on black and white television and everybody was aroused," Wahrhaftig says.

Half a century later Wahrhaftig decided to return to Selma for the commemoration. She's older and wiser, but still puzzled after all these years as to why that Sunday long ago had to come to a bloody end on the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

"I think when you have respect you should respect everybody equally. That's what it's all about," Wahrhaftig believes.

The Californian is now 82 and will try to walk across the bridge on Sunday as part of the reenactment. From California to Alabama, Clare Wahrhaftig is in Selma to remember.

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