Honoring the 'King' of peace

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Tributes planned for MLK, Jr. Day

Washington County religious leaders, officials, students and others will mark the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with ceremonies across the county this Sunday and Monday.

Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Springfield will pay tribute in song and worship with a Sunday Mass beginning at noon. 

“We have a gospel choir that’s singing and the kids are going to read a few pieces about his life and sing a song at the end of the service,” said Pam Grundy, director of religious education at the church.  

Washington County Public Schools are closed Monday in observance of the holiday. A motorcade will assemble at 6:15 p.m. on Monday at First Baptist Church, 336 E. High St., and drive to River of Life Community Church, on Ky. 55 for a 7 p.m. service there honoring King’s memory. 

“We are asking people to come out and drive in the motorcade,” Grundy said.

The service is will feature the Rev. Dr. Anthony Middletown, of Cable Baptist Church in Louisville. There also will be music and other tributes from county officials and religious leaders. 

Although Dr. King’s birthday is Jan. 15, the nation observes his historical contributions on the third Monday of January each year. 

The African-American leader is best known for his peaceful demonstrations and advancement in civil rights. King led the 1955 Montgomery (Ala.) Bus Boycott, which propelled the nation to embrace equal rights. In 1963 during his March on Washington, King delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.

In 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence. 

President Ronald Reagan declared Martin Luther King, Jr. Day an official holiday in 1983, more than 15 years after King’s assassination. 

With recent shootings and violence in Newtown, Conn., Grundy said it’s more important than ever to teach children about King’s peaceful ways. 

“Martin Luther King was just one of those symbols of non-violence. We need to remember him — not only just once a year,” Grundy said. “We need to reiterate it to our children all the time.”