Prayer service kicks off March on Washington's 50th anniversary - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Prayer service kicks off March on Washington's 50th anniversary

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Several hundred people packed into Mount Airy Baptist Church in downtown Washington for a prayer service to launch a week of activities commemorating the historic 1963 March on Washington.

The theme of the events is that the anniversary is about more than a march, that it should be a continuation of Martin Luther King's unfulfilled dream of freedom and equality for everyone.

Notably absent from Wednesday night’s church service was Reverend Al Sharpton, activist and President of the National Action Network. No explanation was given for his absence, but the head of the D.C. chapter of NAN spoke in his place about seeking justice in the courts in the wake of the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin.

Speakers, mostly ministers, called for more action on the job front and more progress on issues like immigration reform.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray made a moving call for a vote for the District in Congress and budget autonomy.

Civil rights activists Jesse Jackson and Marion Barry were among those attending.

Two marches are scheduled this week -- one on Saturday retracing the route of the 1963 march and another on the actual day of the anniversary -- Wednesday, August 28.

President Barack Obama will speak that day on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, where King gave his historic speech.

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