Monday, October 19, 2009


Our visit to Montgomery can be summed up in one word: Hope.

Driving in from Selma to Montgomery we learned about the history of the five days in March 1965 when 25,000 protestors marched to the state capitol filled with hope for equal voting rights. So much of this city's history is centered around hope for civil rights and equality.

Here in Hope Hull, just south of Montgomery, we went for a geocaching walk late yesterday and found this little kitten on the side of a dead end road. Our guess is she's six or eight weeks old. We brought the little thing home and tried to give her some food. But, she ran off behind the campground office before we could. With two adult cats in our house, we have no room for another. But, that didn't stop us from falling in love and giving her a name. We named her Hope.

Temperatures overnight here dropped into the 30s. We thought about the poor little stray out in the cold and wondered how she fared. As we were getting ready to leave this afternoon for sightseeing in Montgomery, guess who showed up? We placed a call to the Montgomery Humane Society and confirmed that they would take her. We put her in a crate and took her along for the first leg of our sightseeing afternoon. It was a bit sad to surrender her to the Humane Society. But, she'll get good care and, hopefully, be in a good home in no time.

We ventured downtown, which is easy to do here. You just point yourself toward this very impressive capitol building. We met a volunteer outside who pointed out some interesting tidbits about the place. He pointed out the bricks on the sidewalk in front of the capitol, which he said were made by slaves.

Just a block away from the capitol is Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church. It's the only church where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was a pastor. Thankfully, this important bit of history has been saved amidst the renewal around the capitol.

The most poignant stop in our afternoon was the Civil Rights Memorial Center. The memorial honors those who died during the Civil Rights Movement.

The black granite memorial is covered with flowing water. In the curved wall is engraved a quote from Dr. King paraphrasing Amos 5:24: "We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream."

Water streams over a circular black granite table in front of the wall. Etched on the table like a clock are historic dates and events in the Civil Rights Movement, starting with the Supreme Court's decision on Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954.

Around the circle the last date is April 4, 1968, when Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis.

The memorial was designed by Maya Lin, designer of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC. This memorial shares that same quiet impact. The water makes you want to reach out and touch the words. "This is not a monument to suffering," Maya Lin is quoted at the memorial. "It is a monument to hope."

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