MLK Day in the Summit City

By Megan Trent

January 17, 2011 Updated Jan 17, 2011 at 7:41 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Let freedom ring. The life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was celebrated by thousands in the Summit City Monday. At several local events, the MLK Day message was ringing out loud and clear.

Born January 15th 1929, Martin Luther King Jr. was just 39 at the time of his assassination in 1968. But around the nation and here locally, the message of MLK Day is as important today as ever.

Geoff Paddock says to him the holiday represents, "Non-violence, brotherhood, being kind to others and trying to improve the community."

MLK Day kicked off with "Breakfast with the Clergy" downtown - an event honoring men and women for their work in the church and community.

Pastor Lester Bush of Dupree Memorial Church of God was honored at the ceremony and says, "We try to be as active in our community as we can, trying to bring people together. And most of all, share what God has given us."

At the African American History Museum today, for just one dollar people were able to view all 11 exhibits, but specifically the newest civil rights display.

Patsy Brewer with the African American History Museum says, "That's what our mission is here - it's to educate and to promote a better understanding and appreciation of African American history and culture."

At the Grand Wayne Center, the 26th annual Dr. King Unity Day Celebration featured vocal performances, speakers, vendors, and fellowship in what event sponsors, the MLK Club, claim is the largest holiday event of it's kind in Indiana.

"It's very important that our young people get the message, that our middle aged people continue to spread the message, and that our old people share the joys and the strengths of what they've gone through," says Audrey Young-Miller.

On this MLK Day - a day of service, understanding and progress - Doctor King's dream lives on.

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