With a wrapped up knee, I headed by car to the spot where I, and my fellow AmeriCorps workers would join hundreds of others for a march through the town of Seaside to honor the man behind the dream.
I told the group leaders that I would walk a bit and then go back and get my car. Then I’d meet them at the auditorium to take in the program.
About half way there, I decided to continue, so I swallowed a pain pill and kept walking.
I’m so proud of myself for continuing and so happy I saw the program. It was heartwarming and emotional.
Speakers were political leaders, including Congressman Sam Farr, who I have interviewed many times. I wanted to see him afterwards but that didn’t happen.
The main speaker, Dr. Thomas Todd, pioneering civil rights attorney, a dynamic man with a sit-up-straight-and-listen speech mesmerized the audience with ad-libs and profound words. One of those gems, about MLK was, “Don’t celebrate his death. Celebrate his life.”
He spoke about the influence of social media over children and said children need to learn, not only reading, writing and arithmetic, (the three R’s), but the fourth ‘R’ and fifth are, respect and responsibility.
The Monterey Peninsula Gospel Community Choir got the folks out of their seats with lively music.
Last of all, and what brought tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat, was the dancer, who danced to an emotional song. Dressed in black and white, she used mostly pantomime to give the message.
So after the thoughtful one and one half hours, it was time for me to trudge back to get my car. My legs hurt and I knew I could probably hitch a ride with someone, but I thought about it and decided to walk.
Well, I figured the pain was just a penny’s worth compared to the pain and suffering of the people who have been treated miserably for hundreds of years, both physically and emotionally. And the walk was the least I could do honor the man who taught that only peace and love would bring about change.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Happy Birthday Martin Luther King, Jr.