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Nation, eastern Carolina pause to honor 50th anniversary of 'dream' speech

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People line the reflecting pool during a rally to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, D.C. People line the reflecting pool during a rally to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, D.C.
WASHINGTON -

"I have a dream," thoseunforgettable words by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 50 years ago are engrained inthe minds of many, but it especially carries a greater meaning for Bennie Roundtree.

"I look at those picturesand it carries me back 55 years ago. When I look up at Dr. King and say, Dr.King I am doing to the best I can, it gives me some release in my spirit.

Roundtree, a civil rightsactivist of his time says being at the iconic march in Washington, paved thepath of the life he chose to live.

"My calling consistson helping people, bringing people together and working to do away withcrime."

Although Roundtree says,racism still exists, he says we've come a long way. "Another 50 years fromnow we will be saying free at last, thank god almighty we are free atlast."

The NAACP says they aretrying to get us there. On Wednesday they filled the steps of the Pitt County Courthouseto speak against inequalities in our own state.

"We've crossed many ofred seas, we've crossed many of rocks, we've had many barriers in our way, butnothing can stop us right now." Demonte Alford said.

12 other rallies in eachof the state's congressional districts united women, environmentalist, teachersand those searching for equal justice.

Just like King, Roundtreestood in the foreground leading the way. He hopes that today's movement willgive people the same enthusiasm Dr. King gave him 50 years ago.

"I was there to taste it. To see the manin action and I believed in him so much that I would of given my life for himto keep the dream alive."

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Thousands from across the country gathered on the National Mall to honor the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's call for racial equality.

President Barack Obama stood in the same spot where Dr. King addressed a crowd of 250,000 in 1963.

"Because they marched, city councils changed, state legislatures changed, Congress changed, and, yes, the White House changed."

Thousands joined together to celebrate the anniversary.
     
Many weren't alive when King gave voice to the struggle for racial equality. Others were civil rights veterans.
     
Edith Cannon helped organize the lunch counter sit-ins as a college student in Jackson, Mississippi.

"Martin Luther King came with us for a rally and I had my arm in his and I thought that was just so special," said Edith Cannon, civil rights activist.

Hundreds started the day commemorating the 1963 march for jobs and freedom with another march through the streets of Washington.

Here in the eastern Carolina, the NAACP  is celebrated the day with their "Taking The Dream Home" rallies.

"Dr. King was the type of leader that believed so much in this country that he gave all that he have gave, that he did have to give. I am one of those people that pledged to him on his grave that I would never stop until my life would end in this country," said Bennie Roundtree, civil rights activist.

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