When Henry Crosson, Jr., went to Washington 50 years ago, he knew he would witness something very important, but he says he never he expected his role in the March on Washington would be remembered and honored five decades later.
“I think it’s a great privilege to have the opportunity to return and have the lifetime spared by almighty God to come together one more time,” said Crosson, who lives in Derry Township, Dauphin County.
His family joined him in Annapolis, Maryland, Wednesday for the unveiling of the country’s first memorial dedicated to the roughly 250,000 “foot soldiers” of the March on Washington.
“Really gratifying that his grandchildren are here, that they can know that their pop really did something that was significant in the world,” said Crosson’s daughter, Debra Allen.
More than 500 names are featured on the memorial, including Crosson’s name. Dozens of his fellow foot soldiers attended Wednesday’s event.
“Beautiful, beautiful, lovely. What a blessing for an old guy like me,” said Crosson after seeing the memorial for the first time.
He traveled to Washington with his uncle and heard the famous “I Have a Dream” speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
His cousin, Elaine Fuller, was a young girl at the time but still remembers the two of them coming back from the march and talking about it for months.
“I’m at an age where I experienced them going through some of that, and the racial divide and the injustice,” said Fuller. She submitted both men’s names to be included on the memorial. “This means a lot for him to be able to bring it full circle.”