Monday marked the official holiday honoring the legacy Martin Luther King, Jr., a holiday helped established by Indinana Congresswoman Katie Hall in 1983.
The day was marked in the Summit City with the annual Unity Day celebration at the Grand Wayne Center.
While the event is in the books, King’s legacy lives on.
“Not only for the betterment of African Americans, it was for the betterment of all Americans,” Bennie Edwards, president of the city’s Martin Luther King Club, Inc. explained. “That we could live in harmony and peace as sisters and brothers and make American a better place for us all to live.”
Compassion and understanding are two lessons taught by Martin Luther King, Jr. rememberd daily on the grandest gate into our city, the MLK memorial bridge on Clinton Street, but brought back to life today.
“Today’s the 34th anniversary of this day of Unity,” Mayor Tom Henry said. “So, we set aside a few hours to make sure that the city continues to remember all that he did.”
The celebration was an opportunity for community leaders to share the impact they feel from that life that went through turbulance so we can live in unity with each other. It’s also chance for neighbors to talk about the future.
“We would like to keep the memory of Dr. King alive and well in Fort Wayne, so our younger people who some have forgotten what Dr. King meant and what he did to change America, we want to remind them and always keep his memory alive,” Edwards added.
One artist conveyed that message to the younger generation.
“This is my way,” artist Phresh Laundry explained. “This is my voice screaming loud on canvas.”
Live paintings of King’s likeness connected culture to King’s compassion.
“How things are in the world right now, it’s important to project positive things,” the painter added. “Project love. Project unity and community in a sense of urgency to help each other out. No matter the creed or color, race or whatever it is. We’re here to help each other out.”