When Henry Crosson witnessed Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have Dream” speech 50 years ago, he had no idea so many years later his role in that day would be preserved as well.
Next week, Crosson will head to Annapolis with his family for the unveiling of the first U.S. memorial dedicated to the “foot soldiers” of the March on Washington. Crosson’s name will be among over 500 others featured on the two-and-a-half ton granite memorial.
“To me, it was an everlasting speech because it was coming from the heart, and it meant so much,” said Crosson, who lives in Derry Township, Dauphin County.
He traveled to Washington with his uncle for the speech in 1963 and was among roughly 250,000 people who listened to King proclaim his vision for a more just and equal society.
“There’s always room for progress. But, I feel as though it was a gate-opening, a way-maker,” said Crosson.
At 80 years old, Crosson admits there are a lot of memories and emotions from that day he’s forgotten. He hopes by seeing the memorial and connecting with other people who were there for the march he can bring some of those memories back.
“The glory of going down there, and the surprise to be there. And being one among a number (of people). I guess that’ll always be with me,” said Crosson.