Nightly News   |  March 03, 2013

'Bloody Sunday' remembered

Decades after “Bloody Sunday,” national leaders acknowledged America’s continuing civil rights struggle by making the iconic march from Selma, Ala. to Montgomery. NBC’s Lester Holt reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> this was a poignant weekend in alabama, as people gathered to mark two of the milestones of the civil rights movement , selma and montgomery , cities and symbols of that movement, but along with remembrance, there was healing and a long overdue apology. it was one of the iconic moments. civil rights struggle, the march from selma , alabama, to montgomery in march 1965 . marchers were turned back twice you can beaten so badly on their first attempt 48 years ago that the day would forever be known as bloody sunday.

>> we are marching today to drama advertise to the nation --

>> reporter: a young john lewis you was a leader of that march. now a long-time congressman from georgia, lewis was back in selma today, along with vice president biden, as he led a crowd of thousands across the edmund pettis bridge.

>> we were beaten, tear gas , tramped by horses, but we didn't give up.

>> reporter: nor did they forget the other clashes of the struggle. lewis was part of a congressional delegation that laid a wreath at a civil rights memorial in montgomery you where blood was shed long before selma . later came an apology from the man who now leads montgomery 's police force .

>> i feel like what i did today should have been done a long time ago because we have to live with the truth and it is the truth.

>> reporter: the truth, the police chief said, was that the montgomery police didn't stop a white mob from beating lewis and other freedom riders at the dawn of the movement in 1961 . chief murphy offered his badge to lewis .

>> the healing continue, that's what the movement was all about. to heal. to become one.

>> john lewis note there had were other police departments that stood by and watched clashes unfold but this was the first time he had ever received an apology.