I walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama last month. The bridge, which stretches across the Alabama River, is named for a Confederate brigadier general. But the bridge gained notoriety in 1965, when it became the scene of a bloody attack by local and state police on peaceful civil rights demonstrators attempting to march to the state capital of Montgomery. My walk filled me with sadness.
That day, March 7, became known as Bloody Sunday. The police - who also deputized all white males in Dallas County over the age of 21 - used horses and cattle prods and billy clubs to attack the marchers and chased them all the way back into Selma and even to the churches where they sought refuge.
I had the grace last month to encounter a woman who participate in this historic event as an 11-year-old girl. My friend Meredith, her daughter, Anna, and I spoke with Mrs. Bland for nearly an hour before I walked across the bridge. As I walked, I was haunted by her words, how she said she thought the blood dripping from her sister's head were tears.
Linking up with Cari today!