Quotes in reaction to the death of Rosa Parks - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Quotes in reaction to the death of Rosa Parks

By The Associated Press

Comments following the death of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks:

"Rosa Parks was a woman of great courage, grace and dignity. Her refusal to be treated as a second class citizen on a Montgomery bus in 1955 struck a blow to racial segregation and sparked a movement that broke the back of Jim Crow. ... She was an inspiration to me and to all who work for the day when we will be one America. May God bless her soul and may she rest in peace." - Former President Clinton.

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"I truly believe that there's a little bit of Rosa Parks in all Americans who have the courage to say enough is enough and stand up for what they believe in. She did such a small thing, but it was so courageous for her as a humble person to do. - Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y.

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"The nation lost a courageous woman and a true American hero. A half century ago, Rosa Parks stood up not only for herself, but for generations upon generations of Americans. Her quiet fight for equality sounded the bells of freedom for millions." - Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.

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"I think Rosa Parks was truly a historic figure who singularly on December 1, 1955, tore down the walls of American segregation and apartheid. One of the highlights of my life was meeting and getting to know her ... a gentle woman whose single act changed the most powerful nation in the world." - Rev. Al Sharpton.

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"She must be looked upon as not just the mother of the modern civil rights movement; she must be looked upon as one of the mothers of the New America, of the New South." - Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.

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"Rosa Parks has shown the awesome power of right over might in history's long journey for peace and freedom." - Rev. Jesse Jackson.

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She loved people with a passion, and when she took that seat on that bus that day, she took a seat for all of us." - Clara Luper, a retired teacher who led a group of teenagers in a sit-in at a downtown Oklahoma City drug store counter in 1958.

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"I remember her as an almost saint-like person. And I use that term with care. She was very humble, she was soft-spoken, but inside she had a determination that was quite fierce." - Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich.

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"She really was a heroine to us. She was an ordinary woman and we were ordinary kids, and it seems we had a relationship. ... For me it opened up the possibility and also instructed me that it wouldn't be easy, but it would be worth it in the end." - Minnijean Brown Trickey, a member of the Little Rock Nine who desegregated Little Rock Central High School in 1957.

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"I think her hand, her imprint, her palm, will live forever. She ignited a fire in this country. Just like we remember 1955, we should remember today because it's a day of celebration." - Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

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"As the mother of the modern day civil rights movement, Rosa Parks will serve as a role model for generations to come. She embodied the courage that is so important to the world we live in. Her quiet strength, dignity and persistence in the face of racial inequality and persecution were an inspiration to all Americans, regardless race or gender." - Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

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"She was very unassuming. She had absolutely no ego at all. She was not worried about herself or her accomplishments. You would never know that she was the great person that she was." - U.S. Circuit Judge Damon Keith.

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"In her own simple way, Rosa Parks changed the history of our nation. She forced us to recognize the dignity of every person. She was a prophet - a common instrument of God inviting us and challenging us to a new vision of solidarity, equality and justice. We were blessed to have her as citizen of Detroit." - Cardinal Adam Maida, Archbishop of Detroit.

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"In one single day, Rosa Parks made the world face the cause of equality, civil rights and justice. No words can adequately describe the courage of her actions, the nobility of her character or the impact she had on an entire nation." - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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"I fondly remember presenting her with the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor in June of 1999 in the United States Capital Rotunda. At the age of 86, she stood to accept the medal and sometimes steadied herself on my arm. Rosa Parks said that her legacy of quiet strength was passing to the youth of this nation." - U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

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"It's kind of neat how a person without stature can make a difference. For the most part, that's not true. We all struggle along trying to make a difference. ... She was at the right place at the right time, and that's kind of cool." - Dave Johnson, 54, of Corvallis, Mont., who has been in Detroit on business.

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"She was a well-respected lady. It's a loss. The history that lady has been through and the things that she's accomplished as a lady are second to none." - Tony Sposita, 44, of West Bloomfield, Mich.

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"I think more people could stand to take her example. I think more people could do good if they could make the small effort that she made." - Paul Bastian, 27, of Royal Oak, Mich.

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