London residents follow in footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

By: Paige Quiggins Email
By: Paige Quiggins Email

Dozens came out to remember Dr. King decades after he was shot to death, they wanted to symbolically follow the path of his life.

People of all ages and races walked the streets of downtown London singing “we shall overcome someday.”

They said they wanted to carry on the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. King was assassinated in 1968.

“It is kind of a legacy of carrying on Dr. King's dream to get people to understand that we need to push forward with that dream,” said event organizer and Director of the Laurel County African American Heritage Center Wayne Riley.

The second verse of the song sung during the march was “we’ll walk hand-in-hand.” Children grabbed the hands of loved ones and sang the lyrics that they seemed to know the significance of.

“Togetherness, hand in hand, we shall overcome the dark days and all the nastiness that his generation went through,” said event organizer Marjorie Van Diver.

After the march, many came together to for a ceremony where his famous "I Have a Dream" speech was read aloud.

The ceremony was complete with songs and readings to highlight the teachings of King, including his prophecy as a preacher.

“Martin Luther King worked hard to bring us all together and help us love one another and not look at the outside of each other,” said Lucille Kilpatrick, who sang at the ceremony.
Kilpatrick said she believed Dr. King would be proud of the crowd drawn for the event.

“He supported all the different groups around the United States and all of the world,” said Danny Pressler, who came to the event.

Van Diver said that as a female and a minority she believes her life would have been much different had the Civil Rights Movement leaders like King himself had not changed the world for the better.

“If it was not for Dr. King and all the people before me I would not be able to have the job that I have or have the freedoms that I have today,” said Diver, who works for the county school system.

The Martin Luther King holiday has only been officially observed in all fifty states since the year 2000.


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