North Carolinians Credit ’63 March for Advances in Workplace

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Heralding the long fight toward racial equality that many say hasn't ended, marchers on the National Mall on Wednesday -- including President Barack Obama -- commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.

"His words belong to the ages, possessing a power and prophecy unmatched in our time," Obama told a crowd that gathered under gray skies and intermittent drizzle to attend the hours-long ceremony.

King, Obama said, "gave mighty voice to the quiet hopes of millions," hailing leaders who braved intimidation and violence in their fight for equal rights.

On that August day in 1963, when King and his fellow marchers attended what he labeled "the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation," few in that crowd could have imagined that half a century later, an African-American president of the United States would mark the occasion with a speech in the same location.

Wake Forest grad Melvin Scales and his co-worker Angie Tinnell traveled to DC to commemorate the 1963 March on Washington, which they credit with allowing them to work together today.

"It's wonderful to be able to have that freedom to travel with anybody you want to travel with and go anywhere you want to go, and work with who you want to work with," Angie said

CNN contributed to this report