The Liberty Bell at the West Virginia state capitol rang out 35 times Monday morning in honor of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In a ceremony on the north side of the capitol, Rev. Ron English, interim minister of the Metropolitan Baptist Church in Charleston and a protégé of Dr. King, gave the invocation urging the crowd to keep the dream alive.
“And may it always be a charge that we would have to keep our resilient dreams alive in all that we do,” English said.
English was the featured speaker at an ecumenical service at the Asbury United Methodist Church and lead the march from the church to the capitol for the service afterward.
On hand was Dr. Jenee Walker of Charleston. She grew up in Compton, CA and says Dr. King was a major motivator in her life.
“There was no one with formal education in my family. And during the time of Dr. King, my parents inspired me that I could do anything just based on determination and work ethic because of this “dream” and who I am,” explained Walker.
Another woman who used Dr. King’s dream as a guide in her life is Dr. Carolyn Stuart, the director of the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs.
“When I look back over my life, I have to think of the struggles and challenges that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King faced and know that it is because of that, I am where I am and I am who I am,” Stuart said.
On hand for the ceremony at the capitol, the Appalachian Children’s Chorus who sang the National Anthem and helped ring the state’s Liberty Bell at the end of the service.
Rev. Robert Davis, the minister at the Mount Zion Baptist Church in South Charleston, summed up the importance of Monday’s ceremony.
“We not only have the freedom but the reality of [Dr. King's] dream.”