March on Washington: Long security lines keep some away from event

(Photo Sam Ford)

It took so long for thousands of people to get through the extra security for Wednesday’s 50th March on Washington anniversary that some people never made it in while others were overcome by the heat.

Some reported waiting in line for two hours.

Jameca Neil was one of the participants who was frustrated by the extra security. Like thousands of others, she tried to access the events at the National Mall through the one and only access point for the general public.

One D.C. resident, Weldon Ferguson, said he wasn’t allowed to sit as he waited in line.

“I said let me sit down I am 66-years-old,” Ferguson said. “I can't be standing up the whole time."

Whether they sat down or just left, the logjam at the secret service checkpoint near 17th Street and Constitution Avenue was frustrating for many.

One person said four people had passed out within 15 minutes.

A mass casualty unit moved in to the area and cooling buses were brought in.

A law enforcement source said there were nine stations inside the checkpoint.

The waiting crowd just kept growing. Among the people waiting were several who marched in the original March on Washington 1963.

"My feet hurts. Everything hurts. But I don't care,” says Ann Sullivan, one of the original 1963 marchers.