People of all different backgrounds came together Monday afternoon to celebrate the importance and the message of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his dream for America.

A ceremony was held at Freedman Memorial Plaza in Waxahachie to celebrate the life and living legacy of King.

“This is not just a day to celebrate Dr. King, but it is a day to give back to the community and when you give back it comes back to you many times over than what you were expecting,” Councilman Chuck Beatty said. “Also, I see the promise of Dr. King – and we will get there. I see that happening here today in our town.”

Bishop Robert Davis of Emmanuel’s Upper Room in Reagor Springs led the group in a prayer before the ceremony started. Davis thanked God for reminding people of time. He said there is a time and a season for everything and prayed for peace, understanding and hope as the country enters a new season.

Addressing the large group gathered at the plaza was Waxahachie Mayor Ron Wilkinson, who spoke of his experiences as a law student at Southern Methodist University, where he had the privilege of hearing King address a crowd of students. 

“When I met Dr. King, I was not only surprised by his eloquence and his delivery when he spoke but by how young he actually was. We tend to forget that he was a relatively young man who was cut down in his prime,” Wilkinson said.

“Dr. King changed the minds of a lot of people in this country and still does today,” Wilkinson said. “He was always advocated taking the high road. Let us follow his example as we go into a new year and remember that problems are not solved by violence.”

Once the ceremony concluded at the plaza, a march was held leading the group to New Mount Zion Missionary Church, where the celebration continued. Davis addressed the crowd gathered in the sanctuary with additional remarks about what the day represented.

“Dr. King told us and showed us that problems are best solved through non-violent means. Through that, we as a society and a people can accomplish a lot working together, Davis said.

“But you have to remember that God created all races, all nations and all people from one blood,” he said. “That means that we are all related and interconnected together.”

E-mail Andrew at andrew.branca@wninews.com