|From Parks' Trial, showing where she sat.|
We celebrate and commemorate certain year anniversaries for historical events, usually, at the start in five or ten year increments. But as the years pass, other opportunities are used too. That's because the people who were there for the original event are passing on. By the time the really big anniversaries occur---the 100th, for example, almost everyone alive at the time is gone.
So Monday will be used to remember those who supported the boycott, and generally to forget those who did not, who were on "the wrong side of history". Like the bus driver who called the police to arrest her:
"I wasn't trying to do anything to that Parks woman except do my job.....she was in violation of the city codes. What was I supposed to do? That damn bus was full and she wouldn't move back. I had my orders. I had police powers--any driver for the city did. So the bus filled up and a white man got on, and she had his seat and I told her to move back, and she wouldn't do it."(From The L.A. Times)
The name of Montgomery bus driver James Blake could be the answer to a trivia question now, while a worldwide population can name Rosa. Blake died at 89 in 2002. Rosa passed in 2005.
The 75th Anniversary will come in 2030. Who will remain who was there and remembers the actual events? A handful of centenarians perhaps. By the 100th in 2055, you'll be left with books and video tape.
And so we celebrate those who stood with Rosa, like Rev. and Mrs. Robert Graetz, two of the few white Montgomery residents who supported Rosa before it was popular to do so.
And Fred Gray, Rosa's lawyer.
They are among the survivors, the flesh and blood reminders of a day in Montgomery that is remembered here and everywhere.
You can see images of the arrest documents online HERE.
But to see and hear those who were part of it all, attend some of the events in Montgomery this week leading up to the Monday anniversary. You can download an events calendar HERE.