Joaquin Castro speaks at civil rights march anniversary

San Antonio lawmaker was only Texas elected official to address crowd


WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro of San Antonio delivered the following remarks Wednesday at the gathering at the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington:

"It is an honor to be here with you today. I come as a son of the great state of Texas. The home of the President who signed the most sweeping and important civil rights legislation in our nation's history. At 38 years old, I also speak to you as someone of a grateful generation. Grateful for the struggles and the movements and the blood and the tears and all of the work of the civil rights pioneers who stood here 50 years ago today and those who marched on the streets of Selma, those who organized people in factories and farms and those who took their battles to the courts like Thurgood Marshall and Gus Garcia, those who organized people to vote and exercise our rights, those like Willie Velasquez.

My own parents in the 1960s were very involved in a movement inspired by Martin Luther King and the men and women who stood here. They were active in the Chicano movement---the Latino civil rights movement. And I want to say thank you to them and thank you to all of you.

I also want to make a promise to all of you. As somebody of a younger generation of Americans, I want to promise you that all of the struggles and all of the fights and all of the work and all of the years that you put into making our country a better place-to helping our leaders understand that freedom and democracy are prerequisites to opportunity. I want you to know that this generation of Americans will not let that dream go. We will carry on and make sure that this country lives up to the values and principles for which you fought so hard.

Thank you very much."

Castro was the youngest lawmaker to speak at the ceremony, as well as the only Texas and Latino-elected official.

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