Gainesville Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.
It's a day to honor a dreamer and one of our nation's heroes. Martin Luther King Jr. led a dynamic movement in the 1960's to end racism and establish civil rights. Dr. King was assassinated in 1968. In 1986, a national holiday was established in his honor.
The crowd attending the "King Celebration" in Gainesville was made up of people determined to commemorate his life and death...rain or shine.
It was a rainy day in Gainesville. But that didn't stop a few hundred residents from marching in honor of the man who's dream transformed a nation.
Joining hands, they sing "We Shall Overcome." A hymn know as the anthem of the civil rights movement. The culmination of speeches, awards, singing and prayer this afternoon at Bo Diddly Plaza was in keeping with MLK's legacy: they marched.
Jerome Thomas said, "The Lord just calmed the rain and we walked over here and didn't even get wet." Jerome and Yvonne Thomas have never missed a King Celebration in Gainesville...bringing their children and now grandchildren to the event.
Yvonne Thomas said, "Teaching love, preaching love and that's what we've gotta do. We've got to carry on the legacy of Dr. King." The Thomas's said that President Obama fulfills the dream that Martin Luther King Jr. had for our nation.
Jerome Thomas said, "The chance for those, my grand kids are just as good as for anybody else now. Out of all that he done...he brought people together and now we can go to the top and we see that with the President Barak Obama."
University of Florida student Sitota Douglas said while looking back at the strides made in equality up to this point, she is challenged to continue MLK's work for future generations. She said, "We've moved mountains, but there's so much more to go. And just in celebrating this day it serves as a motivation to just keep on thriving and pushing to do more for our country and more for everybody."
The King Celebration will conclude Wednesday night with an event honoring Coretta Scott King at Showers of Blessings Harvest Center (2615 SE 15th Sreet). The event begins at 6 PM. For more information call Marie Small at 352-335-0572.
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