By Pat McGonigle
ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Norma Lewis was a 28-year-old mother of one in 1963. She didn't have big plans for her future but she had a budding sense that something wasn't quite right with America's race relations and the opportunities she envisioned for her daughter.
"I decided things were not right in this country for me and mine," Lewis said.
So, Norma Lewis boarded a bus for Washington, D.C. in August 1963 to hear the Rev. Dr Martin Luther King, Junior speak in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
"Oh, I can't tell you how amazing it was. I was just awestruck. Not only about what he said and how he said it, but the risk he was taking," she said.
Lewis says she can still hear Dr. King's words in her head.
"It gave me a lot of inner strength. To know that I had the power of one, me. And I wanted things better for my daughter than I had for myself. I never allowed anybody to say 'you can't' to her. Because somehow I tied all of this into Dr. King. How powerful he was, with his beliefs. And I thought, well if he can do that, I can do that with this one child," said Lewis.
Norma Lewis did dream big for her daughter, and today, Marvyna is a successful attorney in California.
When the huge crowds returned to Washington, D.C. this weekend to celebrate King's message, there was no stopping Norma Lewis from taking the bus to the nation's capital.
"It was déjà vu all over again," she smiled.
Lewis says the message in Washington stressed responsibility and making sure people apply King's message on a personal level.
"Kids need to learn that today. That self-reliance is very good," Lewis said.
The dream is possible?
"It is possible. It is. It's tough, but it's possible," she said.