Statement by President Joe Biden on the 59th Anniversary of the March on Washington
On a hot summer day 59 years ago, hundreds of thousands of Americans descended on Washington to redeem the soul of America. They marched for jobs and the dignity of work. They marched for the freedom to cast a ballot or sit at a lunch counter. They marched to hear a preacher’s timeless dream: an America of possibilities and equal opportunity for all Americans.
As we face another inflection point in our nation’s history, I’m proud that my Administration has worked every day to bring us closer to that dream. On my very first day in office, I signed a historic executive order to make advancing racial justice and equity a priority across the entire federal government, as well as another executive order on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday directing my Administration to expand access to the sacred right to vote. I signed the landmark Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, making historic investments in communities that were far too often overlooked or underserved. When Congress failed to act, I signed an executive order to advance effective, accountable policing and enhance both public safety and public trust.
But we have much more to do. Nearly six decades later, this day reminds us of how far we’ve come, where we need to go, and how far and how much longer the journey is. And it reminds us that each of us must engage in the painstaking work of perfecting our union. As John Lewis, the youngest speaker that day, taught us, “Democracy is not a state. It is an act.”
For Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for John Lewis, and for all those who have fought for a better America, we must march on.