Rep. John Lewis himself (D-Ga.), an architect of the march and its last living speaker, delivered closing remarks linking the causes that inspired the event to current legislative battles. “We’ve come a distance since that day, but many of the issues that gave rise to the march are still pressing issues in our society today,” he said. And he got specific, with a list that included hunger and voting rights. “We’ve come a great distance, but we are not finished yet,” he concluded.
For his part, Boehner wrapped up a characterization of the march as “a story with room enough to press for some cause — some dream — bigger than ourselves.” And his comments left plenty of room for the gap between his dream and the dreams of civil rights advocates, past and present.
Editor’s Note: This piece has been updated to replace a reference to a 2002 report card from the ACLU with a more recent civil rights report card by the NAACP.
Jenée Desmond-Harris is The Root‘s staff writer and White House correspondent. Follow her on Twitter.