PARIS, TX -- Today 50-years after the March on Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, thousands of people gathered and listened to leaders pay tribute to those who fought for racial equality.
In 1963, Paris' own Robert High made the 24-hour bus trip to Washington.
"This was something that was new, it was something that had never been done before." said High. "We knew that it would be historical, but we had no idea that it would have the significant effect that it did."
High says hearing Reverend King's words in person is a memory he'll never forget.
"Dr. King's voice was mesmerizing, his elegance simply jumped out at you."
Now an Assistant Superintendent at Paris ISD, High says King's speech changed America forever.
"What it did was, it inspired you to go back home and stand up and say no more."
High and local civil rights activist Brenda Cherry believe King would say we still have a ways to go.
"He would say that we have come a long way, but we have not yet arrived." said High.
"I think we are still looking for that dream to actually become a reality." said Cherry.
Both believe racism in America is not as evident as it was in the past.
"The racism is not like it was then exactly, its just changed in a more hidden way, but the results are the same." said Cherry.
"It is not as overt as it was once was, it is now covert." said High.
High believes King would have been ecstatic after Barack Obama was elected president in 2009.
"He would say that one dream has come true."
Like King, High believes when everyone is treated as equals the dream will finally be complete.
"When we can look at each other and not see color, things will have truly changed."