Thousands gather for 40th anniversary of Easter Sunday sunrise service at Lincoln Memorial

- Thousands gathered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial Sunday morning to celebrate Easter as the sun came up.

This was the 40th year the Capital Church of Vienna, Virginia held this event that has turned into a favorite D.C. tradition.

About 10,000 people are estimated to have attended, even from around the world.

Tera Goodman, daughter of founding pastor Amos Dodge says her father started the event back in 1979 with just a small group of people attending.

 "He was walking the reflecting pool and had an idea this would be a great place for an Easter sunrise service. What he thought was just an idea actually ended up becoming an assignment for our church now for 40 years. Our very first year it started with just 120 people gathered here and now we do it every year, the crowds grow larger and larger and it’s a privilege to do this in our nation’s capital," she said.

She and her husband Travis say they're amazed by the response with the diversity of people who attend the service and many say the service is on their bucket list, even for visitors to D.C.

"That first year 10 people gathered here and we kept doing it every year. The crowds grow larger and larger and we feel it's a privilege to do this in the Nation's capital. And to see all walks of life gather here," said Goodman.

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