Congress Commemorates the 1963 March on Washington

Congressional leaders honor and recall that historic day.

Posted: 07/31/2013 04:31 PM EDT

Republican and Democratic members of Congress celebrated the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in the Capitol's Statuary Hall. The commemoration came early because lawmakers will be on summer recess on Aug. 28, the march's original date.

The event included recollections from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, then a University of Louisville student who realized that neither he nor the nation would be the same after that historic day. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid viewed the march from his Capitol window and saw the tide of history changing, he said.

The most memorable part of today's event was a riveting speech by Georgia Rep. John Lewis, who recalled why the march took place, the days leading up to it and the aftermath.

"What will it take for us to come together and make that kind of progress for the American people once again?" the civil rights icon asked, adding that "the issues that gave rise to the original march persist today."

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(Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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