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Selma Bridge Crossing Almost Canceled Due To Large Crowd Numbers, But Demonstrators March On

Thousands of people gathered to mark the 50th anniversary of the important civil rights event known as "Bloody Sunday."

Last updated on March 8, 2015, at 6:27 p.m. ET

Posted on March 8, 2015, at 4:28 p.m. ET

Thousands of people gathered in Selma, Alabama, on Sunday to continue to advocate for civil rights and honor the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

Bill Frakes / AP

A huge crowd came to the bridge, where 50 years ago peaceful civil rights demonstrators were attacked by armed officers.

Gerald Herbert / AP

Due to the larger than expected turnout, Selma officials and march organizers discussed the possibility of canceling the march over the the Edmund Pettus Bridge, but the numbers were too big to hold back.

Gerald Herbert / AP

The Selma Times-Journal reported that local police estimated the crowd at more than 70,000.

Mike Stewart / AP

A panoramic view of Selma, Alabama. #Selma50

Marchers gathered in memory of the original Selma bridge crossers, who helped secure the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

People lined up for hours.

Hours after the ceremonial march started over Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge, thousands are still lined up.

Bill Frakes / AP
Bill Frakes / AP
Gerald Herbert / AP

To many, the march also aimed to bring attention to the work left to be done for civil rights and voting rights.

Gerald Herbert / AP
Gerald Herbert / AP

Earlier in the day, Attorney General Eric Holder spoke at a church service on the "ongoing struggle" of civil rights.

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"We are no less determined, and we will march on," he said, calling for voting rights and equal opportunities for all Americans.

The outgoing attorney general also blasted a 2013 decision from the Supreme Court that struck down a major provision of the Voting Rights Act.

"While the Court’s decision removed one of the Justice Department’s most effective tools, we remain undaunted and undeterred in our pursuit of a meaningful right to vote for every eligible American," he said.

On Saturday, a crowd of 40,000 gathered in Selma to hear President Barack Obama speak on the strides made over the last decades as well as enduring injustices.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

The president, as well as former president George W. Bush, were among a number of political leaders who crossed the bridge together on Saturday.

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