To the editor:
In 1967 my wife, son, and I marched in the “Peace and Freedom” march in New York City. The march marked the beginning of the communality of purpose of the anti-war and civil rights movements. Martin Luther King was instrumental in linking the two social movements.
It was a dark and dreary day with much tension. I wore my Army uniform and carried my son on my back. We never got closer than 15 to 20 people to the Reverend King. At the time I did not fully realize the risks he was running. After President Johnson had worked for civil rights, the Reverend King was breaking with the president on the war in Vietnam. Martin Luther King suffered greatly from this action. Blacks were angry for they feared losing Johnson’s aid. Whites were angry for it gave a reason to say the Reverend King was not supporting his country.
The FBI was filming much of the march and angry people were screaming from the sidewalks; a few carried baseball bats.
I realized how foolish it had been to carry my son there, but we came away safely with a far stronger appreciation of the greatness of Martin Luther King.