Crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, AL

I walked over the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the site of Bloody Sunday where, at the start of a Voting Rights March, many were beaten severely by state troopers in 1965.  We went to the memorial park dedicated to those who did not finish the march from Montgomery to Selma, but yet, remained steadfast in their quest for equality.  In the park, twelve very large stones were piled next to each other with the inscription, “When your children shall ask you in time to come saying, ‘what mean these 12 stones?’  Then you shall tell them how you made it over.”  

Until then, instead of fixing what was wrong, or moving my “stones,” I had only asked why something wrong had happened to me.  I had focused on my problems so much, that I had never actually done anything about them.  I saw how this stymies social progress; we often create our own problems with our inaction. Something must be done to truly allow everyone to live equally. After seeing pulpits where Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke, meeting lawyers who advocate for justice every day, and people who choose action as their way of life, I now make the choice to be a revolutionary. 

Akinyi Shapiro, Class 12