From 2014 trip

June 12th, 2014

It’s Sheryl (day 5 – 6/11/14) and I think looking at the itinerary today is the last day of on/off/on/off of the bus to see a lot of monuments and photo opps at a lot of places. The next 3 days will be some long stretches of bus traveling to Memphis, Little Rock and Ohio.

In my first blog I mentioned that if I could be comfy, have my coffee and chocolate I’d stay a happy girl on this trip. I’m happy to report that I’ve stayed comfy. The bus and hotel and food accommodations have been terrific. But I’m taking a caffeine tumble with my lack of substantial coffee and chocolate. Might need to call in the reinforcements ASAP…. I just have to keep telling myself what MLK told the marchers of Alabama…”how long? Not long.”

After 5 days of this history lesson on wheels I have started hearing the stories repeatedly but as we visit museums or hear witnesses of the civil rights movement speak the stories are becoming impactful and human to me now. In Montgomery, AL we visited the Civil Rights Memorial & Visitors Center and if you wanted to, you had the opportunity to sign the Wall of Tolerance to pledge to take a stand against hate, injustice and intolerance (see picture). I’m reminded on this trip that the civil rights movement is largely about blacks and Negros, but civil rights is about any human being that is being discriminated against, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, age or disability.

We had the opportunity to visit another church and learn of the story of 4 little black girls who were killed when a bomb went off – another random act of hatred and violence – and 4 little girls getting ready for Sunday school, were the victims for doing nothing other than living their lives. Later tonight we met and heard from one of the girls’ friends who survived the bomb that day, Mrs. Carolyn McKinstry and one of the little girl’s sisters, Lisa McNair. It’s been 50 years since this act of violence and these 2 women don’t live 1 day without some sort of daily reminder – even in this day – of the hatred and violence. When will it end?

Off to Memphis tomorrow.

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