50th anniversary of March on Washington [VIDEO]

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MSNBC — Lawmakers, activists, and civil rights leaders fired up a crowd of thousands on Washington, D.C.’s national mall Saturday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the landmark March on Washington.

Speakers, including Attorney General Eric Holder and Congressman John Lewis, called for increasing the minimum wage, combating a national rollback in voting, and equal rights for people of all races and sexual orientation.

“This morning as we recommit ourselves to [Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s] quest for progress, we also stand on the shoulders of untold millions whose names may be lost to history, but whose stories and whose contributions must be remembered and must be treasured,” Holder said Saturday.

“But for them, I would not be Attorney General of the United States and Barack Obama would not President of the United States of America,” he said.

Former chairman of the NAACP, Myrlie Evers-Williams, expressed regret that she hadn’t been able to attend the 1963 march. Her husband, Medgar Evers, was assassinated weeks before the march.

Evers-Williams invoked the “Stand Your Ground” law that came into focus after the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, and has become a hot-button issue, especially within the African-American community.

“I’m asking today to flip that coin and make ‘Stand your Ground’ a positive thing for all of us who believe in freedom and justice and equality,” she said. “That we stand firm on the ground that we have already, and be sure that nothing is taken away from us because there are efforts to turn back the clock of freedom. And I ask you today, will you allow that to happen?”

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