City of Newberry rights wrongs in honor of MLK day

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NEWBERRY, Fla., (WCJB) --- The city of Newberry held a day of recognition to right the wrongs of the city's past in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Citizens of Newberry gathered at city hall to march to the Martin Luther King Jr. Community center. The parade was rather calm and quiet compared to most around North Central Florida today.

Newberry Mayor Jordan Marlowe marched amongst the crowd as they took steps forward to a day of reconciliation.

He said, "Newberry has decided that it is time. It’s time to face our past, admit our mistakes and look for ways to reconcile the sins of our ancestors.”

Marlowe publicly denounced and signed a proclamation ending the segregation of Newberry's cemeteries and claims Newberry is the first city in Alachua County to take on a countywide reconciliation process.

“As Dr. King said, and as it has already been mentioned here today, the time is always right to do what’s right," stated Marlowe.

Newberry residents were thrilled to see everyone come together for what they considered to be a historic day for the city.

“I am blessed to be here to witness what has happened here today. To me, we're keeping Dr. Martin Luther King's dream alive," stated Gail Watson, Newberry resident."

Gwendolyn Hunt, another Newberry resident, said, " It's the most wonderful thing I’ve ever had in my life and I’m 80 years old and this is just outstanding to see all of us get together.”

While it’s Martin Luther King Day, the city of Newberry will remember today as a day of reconciliation.

It was exciting to watch the community come together to have this event so that the mayor can share his vision for what he wants Newberry to be," stated Mary Wheeler, District #2 Alachua Co. Commissioner.