Keyport commemorates MLK's dream that never dies
June 11, 2008 · Updated 12:18 PM
Its been almost 35 years since the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was assassinated, but his legacy lives on..
I always admired that Dr. King had the courage to face issues and problems and take those problems on. And at the same time he had the maturity and the strength to do so in a nonviolent manner, said Capt. Mary Townsend-Manning, commander of Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Division Keyport.
A group of about 100 people gathered at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 16 at the Jack Murdock Auditorium in Keyport to remember the slain civil rights leader.
He stands as a model to me both in my personal life and in my military and business professional roles, she said.
Pastor Sam Rachal Jr., of the Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Bremerton was keynote speaker for the holiday service titled Remember! Celebrate! Act! A Day on... Not a Day Off!
He said we as a nation must not let important dates and people in history go unrecognized.
Failure to set aside dates and times to commemorate significant people and dates is just a sign of ungratefulness. It says We forgot, he said.
Living in this high tech society, this monetary driven society our historical values can easily become distorted and we lose respect for the moment and the people who made great contributions.
Born Jan 15, 1929, King would become one of the nations civil rights leaders as he continually called for equal rights for all people.
In 1955-56 King led a boycott in Montgomery, Ala., against the municipal bus system after Rosa Parks , a black woman, refused to give up her seat to a white man and move to the segregated section of a bus. The boycott ended when, on Nov. 13, 1956, the Supreme Court nullified Alabama laws and the ordinances of Montgomery that required segregation on buses.
April 4, 1968 King was shot and killed while standing on the balcony of his second-floor room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. He died at St. Josephs Hospital from a gunshot wound in the neck.
More than three decades later, it is this nations responsibility to remember and honor KIng for bringing down the walls of injustice, Rachal said.
We pride ourselves in fame and fortune. We build great skyscrapers and big businesses rather than building human relationships. How quickly we forget the human element that was involved in building this high tech society this Insta-matic society, he said.
Sylvester Rose, an electronics technician at NUWC, Keyport came out to the event not to celebrate Kings accomplishments himself, but to see if other people will participate. A student of history, Rose is quite familiar with the importance of honoring those people like King who have changed it.
Its not my responsibility to try to persuade or convince people to come out here, he said noting the turnout would have been better at Star Wars or Lord of the Rings.
And you have to pay to see that, he said.