A crowd of approximately 50 people braved the frigid temperatures Monday morning for a march honoring Martin Luther King Jr. The Athens High School JROTC led the march around The Square, up Marion Street and ending at the Veterans Museum on Pryor Street.
The march was a show of unity within the Athens-Limestone community with several elected officials joining a diverse group of citizens for the annual event honoring the slain civil rights leader. Upon the march’s conclusion, The Athens-Limestone Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Committee presented a program highlighting the many achievements of King.
Among the speakers of Monday’s program was Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks, who was proud of the community’s dedication to honoring Martin Luther King Jr.
“I talked to some friends of mine in different cities throughout the State of Alabama and almost every one of them had canceled their events due to COVID, the cold or just a lack of interest. That’s a shame. It’s a shame that we are a point where we don’t recognize and keep this alive,” Marks said.
The stars Monday’s program were the student winners of the essay and art contests. The winners were invited to read their essays and to explain the thoughts that went into their impressive art pieces.
“What I admire the most about today’s event are these young people,” Limestone County Commission Chairman Collin Daly said. “Life and love is what it is all about.”
President of the Limestone County NAACP Wilbert Woodruff thanked the art and essay contestants as well as everyone who came out for the march.
“I am glad we chose to celebrate Dr. King. His holiday, it’s always been said, is ‘A day on, not a day off,’” he said. The message was to find a way to serve others just as King did during his life.
Concluding the program was president of the Alabama NAACP Benard Simelton He urged parents to teach their children about showing love.
“Its not about any one particular race getting ahead of the other. It’s about us surviving in this country as one nation,” Simelton said.
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