Many Participate in MLK Event in Paducah
By Candice Freeland
PADUCAH, KY - The air was crisp but the sun was bright as participants gathered Monday to walk from the Robert Cherry Civic Center in Paducah to the Martin Luther King Jr. monument, in celebration of the civil right's leader's birthday.
King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, but Monday marked the official US holiday.
Paducah City Commissioner Richard Abraham shares these thoughts about the holiday.
"It reminds me of how far this country has come. It reminds me of the struggle prior to the Civil Rights Act. As I'm walking, I try to picture the way it was on the original march. The spirit in which we march is monumental, and it's important to remember that."
Martin Luther King Jr. was only 38 years old when he was shot and killed in 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. Abraham says that shows how much can be accomplished in a young life.
"People talk about a calling. He definitely had a calling. To do a specific thing in a very volatile time, and he did it non-violently...It just goes to show young people that you don't have to be fifty, sixty years old to do great things. Know what your passions are, and follow them."
What would King think about where we are now as a country? Abraham offers this speculation.
"With President Obama being elected twice, I think that speaks volumes for our country. But by the same token, I think we've become a little lax in our initiative. Personal initiative. I think he would want to encourage us to not procrastinate on those things that are very important: family, taking care of one another. Not waiting for someone else to do something for us but take the initiative and do it yourself. You don't have to be, you dont have to have a master's degree. You dont have to have a doctorate. You can start in your own household and work out into your own neighborhood."
In addition to the walk, the day's events include a wreath-laying and a luncheon.