OUR OPINION: Youth serve to honor King’s legacy

Young people celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. last week by emulating and interpreting his words and deeds.

Today marks the national observance of the holiday honoring King, following a tribute Friday when young people literally took center stage.

Lincoln University’s Dance Troupe performed a selection that featured songs including “We Shall Overcome,” readings from King’s writings and an interpretive dance.

Students from South Elementary School performed a song with the lyrics: “We all can be free, we can live peacefully.”

The artistic tributes were part of a celebration characterized as a “Day of Service” by the sponsoring organization, the Jefferson City Regional Martin Luther King Committee.

Kelvin Simmons, Missouri’s commissioner of administration, described the link uniting King, youth and a commitment to service when he praised “young people acting in the legacy of Martin Luther King.”

Strengthening that link was Alan Green, director of the Office of Equal Opportunity. He observed: “Young people are our future leaders. Each one of us has a journey called life, and service is an important part of anyone’s journey.”

Recognized for service to the community was Breaking Chains, a group of youngsters ages 13-21 connected with First Baptist Church’s Hispanic Mission. Their service included helping a disabled resident and cleaning along roadsides.

Also recognized were area students who won awards in essay and poster contests sponsored by the committee.

Through artistry and service, these young people are remembering and advancing the legacy of Martin Luther King.

His message was shared by participants and presenters, including the featured speaker, Bill Miller, director of the Division of Personnel for the Office of Administration.

Miller phrased King’s message simply and eloquently when he said: “Service radiantly defines Dr. King’s character.”

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