Martin Luther King Day Celebrated in Anchorage
Event at West High honors King's legacy
ANCHORAGE - The president’s inauguration coincided with the day we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. At a community celebration in Anchorage today, young and old honored Dr. King and his dream.
The celebration at West High School was upbeat as dancers and singers took to the stage in a multi-cultural celebration that also stressed our unity.
“We are not just different groups of Alaskans,” said MLK Foundation President Dr. Alonzo Patterson, as he pointed out the many races and nationalities in the room. “We are Alaskans, we are Americans, we are human beings, thanks to the principals that were advocated by Dr. King.”
Much of the focus of the event was on young people.
“Passing the baton so to speak, from one generation to the next,” said MLK Co-Chair Pastor Leon May. “It helps us remember from whence we’ve come because it’s the bridge that crosses us over to where we are going.”
Former state Senator Bettye Davis spoke of the struggle, finally won, of trying to honor King’s memory in Anchorage by naming a road after him.
“We tried, several years ago to get 15th street named after Dr. King, and we were unsuccessful,“ said Davis. “But now there is a street named after him, there is a monument in the city park downtown, and benches that bear his name,” said Davis to applause.
All in all it was a tribute to a man who had a dream. A reminder of how far we’ve come and, to some degree, how far we have to go.