Dr. King’s march for civil rights reaches a milestone

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By The Staff

On Monday, Jan. 19, Marion County residents are invited to walk in the annual march honoring Martin Luther King Jr. The younger ones in the crowd won’t remember the turbulent times of the Civil Rights movement in the United States.

They are too young to remember the arrest of Rosa Parks or to personally hear the speeches of Martin Luther King. They know only of the struggle for equal rights through the pages of history books and through stories told by their elders.

The older walkers will remember the discrimination faced by blacks when seeking an education, a job or simply getting a drink of water from a public water fountain. Many of them will remember the first time blacks were allowed to vote or the integration of our schools.

Dr. King’s efforts helped pave the way for blacks to live and serve to their fullest potential.

Last Nov. 5, voters elected Barack Obama as president of the United States. On Tuesday, Jan. 20, the president-elect will take the oath of office as the 44th president of the United States, and marks his first official day of service to the American people.

When King stood up to lead his people in the early ‘60s, it was during a time of strong prejudice. A feeling of despair and frustration must have gone through the veins of each and every black citizen during that time.

King’s historic “I have a dream” speech rings a clear message today with the election of Barack Obama. His election truly launches a new era for America.

He becomes president during a time when many Americans feel the pressure of a faltering economy. And his election brings a promise of change. America is waiting and the world is watching.

How befitting that Obama’s inauguration comes one day after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.