SELMA, AL - Fifty years ago marked a turning point in America's history. The struggle for civil rights came to a fever pitch on Sunday March 7, 1965. About 600 civil rights demonstrators, protesting discriminatory voting laws, staged a peaceful march from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, 50 miles away.
As they crossed the Edmund Pettus bridge, they were met by police who violently attacked and beat them. Televised images of the attack brought the fight for civil rights into people's homes and heightened pressure to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965. That day came to be known as "Bloody Sunday."
Now, 50 years later, many of the nation's leaders, celebrities and activists are in Selma to remember that momentous day, including president Obama and the first family.
It is no question that our country has come a long way. Let us hope the lessons of 50 years ago stay vivid for decades to come.