The coolest thing about the whole experience for me was mingling and interacting with the crowd, tens of thousands of people from all over the country and the world, and the unique vibe this particular crowd had: so much love and kindness shown, such easy familiarity, the opportunity to chat with random strangers like they were old friends. We were all there for the same reason, we were all a part of something bigger than ourselves, and there was a wonderful feeling of unity. It was a commemoration of the past, yes, but also of the present and the future. It really made me believe, deep in my heart, that we shall overcome some day.
—Dr. Troy Smith
Troy Smith, a Sparta native, teaches Native American Studies and Environmental History. He also writes historical novels.