March Held in Danville to Remember Bloody Monday

Danville, VA - Wednesday was the 50 year anniversary of what many call the most brutal day in Virginia's civil rights history: Bloody Monday in Danville.

People who were there that fateful day have organized a march to honor those who stood with them.

Hundreds of people came out to commemorate the Bloody Monday protests, including Civil Rights leaders Avon Keen and Lawrence Campbell, who led demonstrations in 1963.

People of all different races marched in solidarity from Bibleway Church to the Danville Municipal Building to honor those who were brutalized by Danville police officers 50 years ago while standing up for equality.

The event was put together by the Danville-Pittsylvania County chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Organizers say the turnout is a sign of a new day in our community.

"It's exciting to know that our people went through a lot to get where they are now. We have not total overcome but we are on our way," said Shirby Wilson, Program Chair with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Reverend Thurman Echols was just a young man when he marched that night, but he knew how important their sacrifice would be. He hopes the march today will teach a critical lesson to younger generations.

"Those who do not know their history are destined to repeat it. So what we are doing here, we want our children, not to be bitter, but to be better, " Echols said.
He also says that there is still room for improvement, but he is proud of how far Danville and our nation as a whole has come.