The queen of talk-shows Oprah Winfrey came yesterday at the memorial service in Washington, DC. to pay her tribute to the civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks.
Rosa "Lee" Louise Parks (February 4, 1913 - October 24, 2005) was an African American seamstress whom the United States Congress called the "Mother of the Modern Day Civil Rights Movement".
She is most famous for her refusal in 1955 to give up a bus seat to a white man when ordered to do so by the bus driver, provoking the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Her role in American history earned her an iconic legacy in American culture and worldwide civil rights movements.
Oprah stated yesterday: "I'm here today to say a final thank you, Sister Rosa, for being a great woman, who used your life to serve us all. That day you refused to give up your seat on the bus, you changed the trajectory of my life, and the lives of so many other people in the world.
I would not be standing here today, nor standing where I stand every day had she not chosen to sit down. I know that and I honour that... I marvel at your will, I celebrate you strength to this day and I am forever grateful... I owe you to succeed."
Among the people who came to pay their tribute to this heroine were Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy and Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean.
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