Selma tributes start with Thursday night festivities - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Selma tributes start with Thursday night festivities

The March Martyr Memorial (Source: WSFA 12 News) The March Martyr Memorial (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Mayors Evans (black tie) and Strange (orange tie) (Source: WSFA 12 News) Mayors Evans (black tie) and Strange (orange tie) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
SELMA, AL (WSFA) -

The first events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday kicked off Thursday.

After Selma Mayor George Evans' welcome reception a large crowd gathered at Tabernacle Baptist Church for a March Martyr Memorial and meeting. The church was at capacity as famous faces like Dr. Bernice King and Frederick Reese were in attendance, all to pay tribute to the lives lost 50 years ago.

A packed house at Tabernacle Baptist Church reminds that the movement is moving on.

“If are foremothers and our forefathers and our forbearers did all they did with what little they had, why can't we do more with all that we have,” said NAACP President Cornell Brooks.

As the eyes of the world are fixated on Selma this weekend, the foot soldiers from 50 years ago keep the significance of 'Bloody Sunday' alive.

“If there was a time where America needs to be unified, than that time would be now,” said Revered Frederick Reese, a man who played a pivotal role in bringing Martin Luther King Jr. to the Montgomery area to lead Selma's voting rights protest.

The city of Selma is buzzing with excitement over president Obama's visit.

“To have a sitting president here at this time as well as to have a former sitting president and his family coming, so I don't recall ever, a president, his wife and his children coming to our city so this is truly not only a 50th anniversary historical moment it's a historical moment in it all,” said Selma Mayor George Evans.

The martyrs of the movement remind us that history was and is being made with this anniversary.

Mayor Evans, along with Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange say they feel they've done all they can do to plan for this weekend, and now, all they can do is wait and see just how many people show up.

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