COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Many are gathering to remember the legacy of one man, Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior. A wreath laying ceremony held Friday morning at Columbia's Stone of Hope marked the beginning of the holiday weekend.
"We can still remember," said Gene Parks of Columbia.
"There is still work to be done," claimed Viola Sanders of Blythewood.
"He was a man ahead of his time and preaching something that was extraordinarily relevant and is relevant now," stated US Attorney William "Bill" Nettles.
It's a time of personal reflection for Sanders. "It is a time that we can re-evaluate ourselves and also be in the spirit of making things better," she expressed.
In his keynote address, Nettles also spoke of personal reflection. "I don't come from the ranks of the dispossessed and I don't come from ranks of the margins," said Nettles, "I'm a middle-aged white guy, but what I am here to tell you if that Dr. Martin Luther King improved the quality of my life."
Nettles reminded the attentive crowd Dr. King's mission. "He simply incorporated the teachings of Christ and his religious beliefs and then asked that the liberties and rights that the forefathers said should be given to everyone, in fact, be given to everyone," he explained.
NAACP members said King's message still hasn't completely come to life, even after his death 43 years ago. "We're still working on having that dream become a reality," stated Parks.
They also believe Dr. King's words will come true one day. "We shall overcome," Dr. King once said, "Deep in my heart, I do believe, we shall overcome."
The King Day at the Dome Prayer Service begins Monday at 8:30am at Zion Baptist Church on Washington Street in Columbia. The annual rally will follow at 10:15am on the north steps of the state house. Actor Blair Underwood has been invited to attend.