Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday is Sunday, and a group of D.C. public school students paid tribute on Friday by reciting his most famous speech at the exact location where he delivered it.
“We get to learn the words and share the very important words that Dr. King said,” said 10-year-old Callie McNamara.
McNamara was among dozens of fifth graders from D.C.’s Watkins Elementary School who recited the speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
It was profound symbolism, with children of all races joining together, each delivering a line from the speech one by one.
“I just feel very happy that I get to say his words because he was a very important person and I’m very honored,” said 10-year-old Essence Merritt.
The students had been practicing for months, according to fifth grade teacher Henrie Rowe.
“We wanted to make sure that they convey the [strength] and the emotions that Dr. King gave,” Rowe said.
This year will mark 60 years since King delivered the speech in front of a massive group of marchers during the March on Washington on Aug. 28, 1963.