The City of Alexandria began its 31st annual remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King at a religious ceremony at Immanuel Church-On-The-Hill, Jan. 15, on the civil rights leader’s 75th birthday.
Rev. William Chris Hobgood, the former minister at the city’s First Christian Church and now General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of the U. S. and Canada, delivered the sermon.
“He spoke very eloquently about people who say they want to do something about racism but really don’t take action,” said Mayor William D. Euille. “The entire service was very moving and solemn and was a good way to kick off the city’s remembrance of Dr. King.”
The city also held its annual poster contest at City Hall on Monday, Jan. 19. “The poster contest was wonderful as always and was very well attended,” Euille said. “It’s always gratifying to see so many of our young people participate in this activity.”
Landmark Mall Filled with Celebration
In conjunction with the City of Alexandria's Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Planning Committee, the Bahái's of Alexandria held the "8th Annual Step Towards Race Unity" at Landmark Mall on Jan. 17. The event was filled with children and music. As the local band 2B1 played selections from gospel to country, dozens of children were busily engaged in activity. The theme was based on the quote from Dr. King's well-known "I have a dream" speech that "...children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
At center stage, there was a 7 by 8-foot mural picturing a large tree with the names of virtues weaved into the trunk. Next to it was the quote by Dr. King and at the top it read, "How we want to be judged."
The children decorated leaves and wrote or drew what they were proud of about their character. The answers ranged from, "I am caring," to "I am good at swimming."
After putting their leaf on the tree they received a crown of virtues and went on to do other activities such as fishing for virtues and face painting. The Tree mural is now on display at the Beatley public library on Duke street.