BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Fifty years ago today, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
People across the country are marking this historic anniversary, and a local woman is remembering that defining moment in U.S. history. Lesley Haynes was part of the civil rights movement and saw the speech in person during the 1963 March on Washington.
As she stood watching Dr. King speak that day in our nation's capitol, Haynes says she made a pledge to not rest until peace is achieved through social justice. She says it's still painful to think about the blatant racism that existed at that time.
As she recalls the march, she remembers her favorite part of Dr. King's speech.
"The thing that stuck in my mind, because I had small children, was the vision of having the black and white children hand in hand together," Haynes said.
In 1963, being part of an interracial marriage was illegal in 23 states. Dr. King's speech made her hopeful that America would one day have equal rights for all.
Sam Herbert also attended the march. He says while watching Dr. King's speech at the age of 14, he didn't fully understand the magnitude of what was going on until he got back home and started talking to the elders in his neighborhood.
Herbert says once he understood its gravity, Dr. King's message resonated with him.
"The part that I really remember was when Dr. King said, 'Don't judge me on the color of my skin but my character,'" Herbert said.
Thousands gathered in Washington D.C. on Wednesday to mark the historic anniversary.
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