Fifty years after a 19-year-old Angus King watched a reverend by the same last name share his vision of equality, the now senator from Maine declared that vision’s power has “surely passed into our souls.”
“We came together in a mighty river down to this place–old, young, black, white, Protestant, Catholic, and Jew,” said Sen. King in his address from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
A half century ago today, he said, “Americans came to this place around a radical idea–an idea at the heart of the American experience, an idea new to the world in 1776, tested in 1865, renewed in 1963, and an idea still new and radical today: All men and women are created equal.”
Sen. King is just one in a long list of speakers set to address the crowd commemorating the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s most famous speech on Wednesday. President Obama, who many view as the living embodiment of Dr. King’s “dream,” will cap off the celebration later in the afternoon.