Nacogdoches residents celebrate MLK Day with parade, ceremony

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Holding signs bearing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's face, more than one hundred people marched down Main Street in Nacogdoches Monday morning as part of an annual effort to keep the civil rights leader's dream alive.

Later, people sat entranced as speakers walked to the podium at the Nacogdoches County Courthouse and challenged those in the audience to commemorate the life and legacy of King by helping others.

Every year, those wishing to honor King and his legacy march through downtown Nacogdoches, hoping to inspire their community to continue his work.

"We are here because his life mattered and we are here because his life counted," said Linda Harris, the keynote speaker for the event.

Reverend Kyle Childress, the pastor of Austin Heights Baptist Church started the celebratory ceremony off by asking the question that King asked in the speech he made in Memphis the night before he was assassinated.

"Dr. King said in that last speech, it's is not what will happen to me if I do stop beside the road, but Dr. King said the question is what will happen to them, if I do not stop."

Childress said East Texans and people everywhere are often concerned with the wrong question: what will happen to me?

"We're put on this earth to answer the question what will happen to others if I don't help now that's what Dr. King asked," Childress said.

Harris talked about how we all are here to finish King's work.

"We have a purpose that Dr. Martin Luther King kind left us as part of his legacy," Harris said. "We need to be about the business of helping those who are disenfranchised."

And East Texans don't have to look far but just around Nacogdoches to find people who need our help, Harris said.

"I want you to think about where in this city you can make the most difference and then and only then will we bring honor to Dr. Martin Luther King on this day. I believe if we do this, we can be proud of carrying on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King."

And at the end of the ceremony, Stephen F. Austin State University student Adaeze Anene said she knew what message she would take away from King this day.

"What Dr. Martin Luther King established was for us to bring service to one another no matter what the color is, no matter what race or nationality, that at the end of the day we are all one person together as one," Anene said.

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