Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Selma to Montgomery march
I stand here between Selma and Montgomery at the memorial to Viola Liouzzi, a white Detroit housewife and mother of five who responded to the news coverage of Bloody Sunday on the Edmund Pettus Bridge by getting into her car and driving to Selma to help. She participated in the march to Birmingham and the joyful rally on the steps of the Alabama State Capital where Governor George Wallace stayed in his office and ignored the marchers' petition for voting rights. That night Viola drove marchers back to Selma and was driving back along the dark highway to get another batch when Klansmen began to chase her. At the spot where her memorial stands she was shot to death through the window of her car. The image of this woman who did not let thoughts of her own safety stop her from responding to her horror at injustice haunts me. She had a kind of wild courage I doubt I have, know I've never shown. I'm glad someone still puts roses on her memorial.