Sig Cohen, Washington, DC

When I joined the Foreign Service of the US Information Agency in 1963 (Edward R. Morrow, cigarette in hand, actually swore me in), I had to go through six months of rather boring training before going overseas. It was during this period that the March on Washington took place. On the day before the March, our training officers told us not to come to class the next day. We were to be in the March on Washington. While most of us had wanted to participate, we thought we’d be stuck in class that day. Nothing of the sort. We were to get ourselves down to the Mall and march.

It was truly an unforgettable experience, especially hearing the breathtaking “I have a dream” speech of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I’ll never forget it.

But were those training officers right! One of the first question I got hit with once I arrived at my first post (Dacca — now Dhaka — East Pakistan — now Bangladesh) was: Were you in the March on Washington?

It was truly a smart call by the training officers and a memorable experience!

Submitted: April 27, 2013

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