The music was great - from the Marine Band to the choir. Aretha Franklin was amazing, and there was absolute silence when Yo-Yo Ma and the others performed a hauntingly beautiful piece.
For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
I talked to an elderly woman from illinois who was dressed in a full length fur coat and dressy hat. She told me she was thrilled to be witnessing the moment when Dr. King's dream came true. We met people from all over the country and listened to their stories, hopes and dreams. All wanted to be there to witness history.