Thousands attend March on Washington rally - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Thousands attend March on Washington rally

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWBT) -

Crowds started flowing into the National Mall before dawn for the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington.

 "What do we want?" exclaimed young demonstrators pushing for members of Congress to pass immigration reform. "Citizenship! When do we want it? Now!"

Regular citizens joined bus loads of politicians and even reality television stars for a common cause. We spoke to Omarosa Manigault. The outspoken star now has a new title.

"I am full time pastor and ordained minister," said Omarosa. "Ministers and clergy have always been a big part of the civil rights movement. I'm glad to lend my voice to it. One of them is my vocation the other is my call. Those are very different."

We also spotted singer Tony Bennett and radio host Tom Joyner in the crowd.

 "I had to be here," said Tom Joyner. "Because that's what black radio did 50 years ago. It got people here. We're not often given the credit for that."

100,000 people were expected to pack the National Mall for a full day of music and speeches.

Among the speakers and groups were Rev. Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King, III, the families of Trayvon Martin and Emmett Till; Congressman John Lewis; Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic Leader; and more.

 "It's really a dream come true," said Thomas Milton. "50 years ago I wasn't able to come here because I worked in Alexandria, VA."

Milton says his executives would not allow him to attend the march. Jackie Owens attended the march with a Virginia State University hat and shirt. She says she became politically active at Virginia State.

 "It was the height of the civil rights movement," said Owens. "We marched. We marched through the city of Petersburg."

Owens is now happy to join thousands to retrace the steps of the March on Washington. Attendees hope their efforts will serve as a reminder of the difficult strides taken to pave the way for new young leaders to proclaim, "I too have a dream."

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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