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Tuesday, 16 January 2018 14:09

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Community unites to honor MLK



ELLY GRIMM
• Leader & Times



Monday marked Martin Luther King Jr. Day and many places in the U.S. commemorated the day in one fashion or another. 

The Liberal community commemorated the day by having a march Monday afternoon in honor of King. The marchers gathered at Liberal Memorial Library and then marched in the bitterly cold temperatures to the Mahuron Park building at 8th Street and Calvert. Overall, the march was deemed a success, according to participants. 

“I liked how everything went, I thought it went really well,” local citizen Robert Hammond said. “I liked how everyone stuck together and joined us for this afternoon. We typically don’t have a lot who participate in the march but this year we had a lot more, so I appreciate everyone for what they did.”

“I think this is a great thing every year because everyone gets together and everyone lines up and marches and we have a good time,” local citizen and current Seward County Commissioner C.J. Wettstein said. “The nice thing about activities about this is everyone always has a great time and there’s always great fellowship.”

Participants also agreed King’s message is just as important today as it was back in the 1960s, when the Civil Rights movement began. 

“It’s about freedom,” Hammond said. 

“Exactly, freedom is the big thing,” Wettstein added. “Dr. King gave a great message of how to accomplish things without fighting and harm.”

“Dr. King’s stance was one of non-violence and love,” Bibleway Church of God in Christ Pastor Lawrence Johnson said. “It wasn’t just about one group either, it was about everybody. The most important thing during the 1960s that really changed America was the television and everyone saw what was going on and began to see those images of dogs and hoses being sicced on people, that’s what changed America.”

And while there have been great strides since the Civil Rights movement, participants agreed there is still a lot to be done. 

“I think what really helped was more young people got involved, and I think we’re seeing that again,” Hammond said. “Young people can really help with that since us older people are more set in our ways. We need help from them.”

“I agree with that, but I also think the older generation can change as well,” Wettstein said. “But we can all work together and I think we can be mentors to the younger generations and help them stay interested in what’s going on. Dr. King had a great message and we need to continue with what he wanted to do.”

 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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