The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Homepage

January 21, 2013

Local groups celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day

— On a clear Monday morning, men, women and children of different races and social backgrounds gathered on the Limestone County Courthouse steps to commemorate the life of a man who devoted his life to bringing people together — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

At 8:50 a.m., Limestone County NAACP President Wilbert Woodruff called the crowd to order. After a prayer, the Athens High School JROTC lined Washington Street and the rest of the assembly, including Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks, Limestone County Commission Chairman Stanley Menefee, Probate Judge Charles Woodroof and Limestone County Schools Superintendent Dr. Charles Sisk, began singing “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ‘Round.”

They marched, singing around the Square once, then moved ¬on to the Athens Event Center across the street from the Alabama Veterans Museum and Archives on Pryor Street.

“It went great,” said Woodruff.

Over the years, he said, the MLK Day celebration has outgrown the conference room at the Veterans Museum. With the construction of the event center, Woodruff said they have been able to host more people. The simple move has lead to increasing attendance over the years, which Woodruff said surprised him.

In a morning of big events, one of the highlights was the presentation of the winners of the annual essay       contest.

“I was blown away by the essays,” Woodruff said.

The Round Island Baptist Church Men’s Chorus also performed. Altogether Woodruff said he felt the program was fitting to the memory of one of “the most noble Americans.”

“I thought it was very fitting and proper,” he said. “I was delighted at how things turned out.”

Through it all, Woodruff said he hoped the young people who wrote essays and the others who attended learned a lesson of tolerance, unity and love. A lesson he said was laid down by King, and demonstrated by both the adults marching in Athens and the man in Washington taking the oath of office.

The essay winners by category are 6-12-years-old: Jabia Warner, first place; Sydney Johnston, second; Jiirah Rogers, third. 13-15-years-old: Sullivan Johnston, first; Destiny Elliott, second; Sherretta Turner, third. 16-18-years-old: Reginald Battles, first; Myia Hamonds, second.

1
Text Only
Top Local News
Today's Local Feature
State and Nation
Local Sports
Sports

Lifestyles
Calendar of Events
Obituaries
Weather Radar
Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Facebook
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
Business Marquee
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.