Some wait hours to attend 50th anniversary of the March on Washi - Dallas News |

Some wait hours to attend 50th anniversary of the March on Washington

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D.C. officials had been warning people for days to take public transportation to the National Mall for the anniversary celebration and to expect road closures. But no one expected the worst gridlock to be at the only public entrance.

"What's the problem? They didn't think that nobody was coming?" Beverly Brooks-Bailey asked.

It is a good thing Brooks-Bailey and her sister brought their lawn chairs and umbrellas. Their ordeal in the security line had them scrambling to sit and cool off.

"They should have organized this better,” said Bailey. “My sister nearly passed out after standing in the line for over an hour.”

D.C. police handled more than 75 medical calls -- most of them for people in the security line -- overcome by the heat. At least seven people had to be transported. Many left the lines in frustration rather than dealing with the heat and delays.

Equally as frustrating, no jumbotrons for people stuck on the outskirts of the mall.

"This here is outrageous," Lois Myles said. "I'm trying to stay positive and not be negative, but it wasn't easy."

Despite the challenges, most people took it in stride knowing that it was all about keeping the President, two former Presidents and the crowd safe.

A medical tent was set up, and police rolled in two mass casualty busses -- offering a place to cool off.

Some sung to generate a little atmosphere, which helped. So did remembering the struggles of those who made it this far under even more trying circumstances 50 years ago.

"It's hot here. It's humid. But it's all worth it," said Mark Holmes.

11-year-old Miles Adedjuena put it all in perspective.

"When I grow up, I hope my children will know about his, and I can tell them about this great moment in history," he said.

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