(NBC News) In Washington today, it was the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech, at the 1963 civil rights march on Washington.
Ducky Birts, who participated in the original march says he was less emotional this time.
"I don't have the feeling i had when i was 27. Now I'm 77," Birts said.
Winnie Westbrook is 68 years old.
She too made the historic march five decades ago.
"I was there in '63 with my brother," Westbrook said.
Half a century later only 54 percent of Americans believe king's dream has been achieved.
Only 21 percent of African Americans do.
Congressman John Lewis is the sole surviving speaker from '63.
"Fifty years later, we can ride anywhere we want to ride those white/colored signs are gone," Lewis said.
All eyes were on America's first black president.
Barack Obama did not descend from slaves, did not have family who suffered under segregation.
But to many he is a realization of King's dream.
-- Steve Handelsman, NBC News, reports.