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Governor Bentley's Remarks at International Civil and Human Rights Panel Discussion

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Fifty years ago, our state stood poised on center stage as a series of historic events unfolded around us.

By the time 1963 ended, Birmingham and Alabama saw events that changed the course of history.

I've been privileged to join in a number of celebrations, commemorations and memorials throughout this year, marking the 50th Anniversary of a significant time in Alabama.

It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your Governor, and to join in remembering the incredible and pivotal moments of 1963.

On behalf of the State of Alabama, thank you for allowing me to join you as we celebrate the Anniversary of the events that shaped the Civil Rights Movement, and the history of our nation.

When I delivered the State of the State address in early February, I felt like it was important that we set the tone for this year.

I wanted to pay tribute to the men, women and even children who played an integral part in our state's rich history. They were the peaceful protestors, the leaders -- and the little girls who changed our state for the better.

I believe it is important that we remember 1963 and Alabama's role in history.

This week we are remembering our past.

But we are also looking forward to a new chapter in our state's history.

Today as you discuss what happened in 1963 in Alabama and how it translates across America and around the world, you will be asking "What lessons can we learn from 1963 in moving beyond Civil Rights"

Toward the end of his life, Dr. Martin Luther King also began looking beyond "Civil Right's" and onto the broader cause of "Human Rights"

I encourage these discussions, and thank you all for your willingness to participate.

In 1963 the nation watched what was taking place in Alabama. As we look 50 Years Forward, let's invite the nation to once again look at our state, and show them a state that works together to create opportunities for everyone, regardless of race, regardless of gender and regardless of politics.

Again, thank you for having me. I look forward to returning this Sunday for the Memorial.

God Bless you.

Thank you.


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