Caring for the legacy of Dr. King

MARCHING IN HIS MEMORY — Buoyed by music from the Steubenville High School pep band, more than 30 area residents ignored the cold temperatures Monday to march through downtown in celebration of the life and legacy of the late Martin Luther King. City firefighters and police escorted the marchers, who traveled from the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center to the high school. -- Linda Harrius

STEUBENVILLE — Dozens of people gathered at the Martin Luther King Recreation Center fell silent Monday when the Rev. Marshall Davis related how years ago, two white men had gunned down his father in the streets of Macon, Ga.

“And my grandmother, his mother, taught me to love,” he said, drawing a chorus of soft ‘amen’s’ from his listeners, who’d gathered there to reflect on the life and legacy of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Davis, pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church in Wheeling and guest speaker for the program, told the group Americans “have become a very angry people.”

“We’re full of contempt for one another,” he said. “If someone doesn’t agree with us, we assume they’re our enemy. (But) it’s all right if we don’t agree on everything (and) I believe this, too, shall pass — America will find a way to get through it. The fact that we’re all here today means it’s going to be all right.”

Davis told the gathering he can “see a better America, an America where we … stop defining ourselves as left or right, moderate or conservative — an America where we don’t judge people by the color of their skin.”

WEIRTON REMEMBERS -- Singing “We Shall Overcome,” approximately a dozen area residents walked along Weir Avenue in Weirton, Monday, as part of local observances of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Participants walked from Christ the King Family Worship Center to the Dunbar Recreation Center, followed by a program featuring the Rev. Rudy McAllister from Mount Olive Baptist Church. -- Craig Howell

“We can learn from one another,” he said, adding, “Our differences make us strong.”

America, he reminds, has always been a great melting pot. “We just have to learn we’re all Americans.”

“I know it can happen, but if it’s going to take place it has to start somewhere,” he said.

“What better place to start than here?

“Learn how to love,” he advised. “I see an America that knows how to love. It can start with you.”

The Rev. Benjamin Calvert II of Mount Carmel Community Baptist Church offered the opening prayer, while Vivian McLoyd of Calvary Community Missionary Baptist Church shared a selection of quotes from the slain civil rights leader, reminding those in attendance, “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

The Rev. Buena Dudley Paschall of Quinn AME Church served as mistress of ceremonies, reminding the crowd they were there “to celebrate, to honor, to remember, to educate.”

“Let us march on until the victory is won,” she urged.

The Anointed Kids of Calvary performed for the group, while Mayor Jerry Barilla delivered greetings on behalf of the city and Paul Rue, vice president of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Association, welcomed the crowd, reciting from the Bible.

“My commandment is this: Love one another, just as I love you,” he said.

“This is a glorious opportunity to inject love in our veins and our community, our nation and our civilization,” he said.

“We need to care for the legacy of Dr. King,” added James Baber, president of the association, urged he group. “Honor him. Remember the struggles people in this country have had.

“Keep the dream alive.”