MLK day commemorated by families and city leaders

Although rain cut the march short a few blocks, for the 45th straight year, local demonstrators walked in remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. Around 120 people packed into the pews of the Progressive Missionary Baptist Church on Monday night to commemorate the birthday of the MLK and march around the church by candlelight. Notable guests included mayor Brian Treece, city council members Karl Skala and Ian Thomas, former Missouri NAACP president Mary Ratliff and a variety of area religious leaders.

Leaders at the event stressed the importance of understanding different opinions and being respectful after recent happenings.

“With everything in America, we need to come together as one and realize we are all god’s children and lift one another up,” said Rev. James Gray.

Mayor Treece reminded the audience that MLK had not been assassinated in Washington, D.C., but at a sanitation worker’s union strike in Memphis, Tennessee, encouraging listeners to get involved with local government.

Other speakers noted higher rates of incarceration and poverty that still affect the black community as signs racism still exists.

“The dream of brotherhood of man has not been completely fulfilled,” pastor Lorenzo Lawson said.