While celebrating the "life and legacy" of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., participants in Monday's events commemorating the slain civil rights contributions to US history leader looked to President Barack Obama, who was inaugurated to his second term earlier Monday, to continue King's dream.
The Rev. Karl Kato, a local pastor, took part in the MLK events that were held in Nacogdoches on the courthouse lawn and on Main Street.
"Thank you for the time we can remember the life and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King," Kato said.
"One of the greatest men in our history," the Rev. Keith Warner, a local pastor and a participant in the MLK events, said. "We thank you God cause we know if we had not come together we would not be at this point."
Monday was a historic day. There will be no other day a MLK march will fall on the day the nation's first black president begins a second term of office.
"For them to come together like this, this is great for us as a people," Willie Sweat, a participant in the MLK parade through downtown Nacogdoches, said. Later, he sang, "Victory is mine. Victory is mine."
Participants in the Nacogdoches events spoke of a famous dream by one man and the hope set forth by another. One of the speakers at the courthouse reminded participants that Monday's MLK events also happened to be "in conjunction with the second historical inauguration of our President Barack Obama."
There was a message of unity for all people, no matter their political affiliation.
"Some people voted for President Obama and some voted against him, but when he becomes the president, when he's inaugurated, he is all of our president," Kyle Childress, another local pastor and a participant in the Nacogdoches MLK events.
Involvement at the local level was stressed. The late Nacogdoches NAACP president, John Morrison, marched for the last time in 2012. Ever since, the organization has been inactive.
"There is no reason why here in this city that the NAACP on the city chapter is not back to where it used to be back in the day," Alexander Evans, the president of Stephen F. Austin State University's NACP branch, said.
The Rev. Leonard Sweat, a participant in the MLK parade, used the moment to make a generous offer.
"And I'm willing to do if you all will have me as your president to do what is necessary," Sweat said.
On this day it took the influence of two historic figures to gain a commitment that can benefit generations to come.
Sunday, May 19 2013 10:07 AM EDT2013-05-19 14:07:39 GMT
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