CHARLESTON, W.Va. – “I have a dream.” Those words echoed through The Mall in the nation’s capitol 50-years ago. But that message rings loud and clear in 2014.
Dozens gathered Monday at Asbury United Methodist Church in Charleston for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Ecumenical Service of Commemoration and Celebration.
Marion Johnson, remembers that day in August 1963. She was watching Dr. King’s speech on TV.
“It was so inspiring!”
She said the words and the crowd moved her.
“I have such high regard for [Dr. King] as a person because I truly believe that he was for all people,” explained Johnson.
John Miller of Charleston also remembers the “I Have a Dream” speech.
“Dr. King was so sincere,” he said. “I think that everybody who heard it, it had an effect on them,” according to Miller.
Marilyn Lynch of Charleston says it was like no other speech she had ever heard.
“I remember it was so dynamic and it brought a lot of people in this country who heard it, speechless,” she stressed.
During the call to worship, Rev. Joseph Jarrett, the pastor at Asbury United Methodist Church, recalled the words of Dr. King.
“Never tire of believing the dream. Stand for the dream. Walk for the dream. Talk of the dream. Be the dream.”
Also taking place on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a bell-ringing service for peace on the north side of the state capitol. Children helped Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin ring the state’s Freedom Bell in honor of the holiday.
The celebration wrapped up with a concert at the state Culture Center featuring the Unity in the Community Choir.