By TV Hagenah
As part of the commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Day on Monday Jan. 19, Tucumcari area residents will be holding a march to salute the Nobel Peace Prize winner.
According to Deacon Paul Bell of the Mount Calvary Baptist Church which will be the ending point of the march, the march will begin at 9 a.m. at North Side Park. Following the march, Bell said there will be a memorial service for King at the church located at 408 W. Campbell St.
“The community is invited to come and help celebrate the life and achievements of one of the most influential Americans in our nation’s history,” said Bell.
Bell said he organized the march because he has lived in Tucumcari for three years and has been frustrated by the lack of acknowledgment of King. He said that for many the day means little more than a day off from either work or school and people have lost the appreciation for who Martin Luther King was and what he did.
Bell kept waiting for someone to organize something to salute King but when it became apparent that no one was going to, he made a decision.
“I said to myself, ‘This year is it. I’m doing it.’”
Bell said that many people do not realize all the aspects of the man who led the civil rights movement through the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s and many more are barely familiar even as that.
“He did a lot for this nation,” said Bell. “He fought for equality of all men, not just for the black man, but for everybody. It (the Dr. Martin Luther King Day) should mean more than just a day off as a holiday.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one of only seven Americans who have won the Nobel Peace Price. King, was born in 1929 and was shot and killed in Memphis Tenn. in 1968.