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Parade, program honors civil rights leader King
The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was celebrated in a big way Saturday morning in Carrollton, with a parade followed by a program attended by several hundred people at the Ted Polk Middle School.
A total of 47 entries left from behind city hall on Jackson Street onto Josey Lane about 10 a.m., then left on Keller Springs and right on Kelly Boulevard to the school.
At Ted Polk Middle School, city and school leaders came forward to honor the civil rights leader who was assassinated in 1968 in Memphis, Tenn.
Carrollton Mayor Mathew Marchant told the crowd, “This is an important day for us to honor Martin Luther King. It is important that we honor him and pass on his legacy to our children.”
Richard Fleming, secretary of the Carrollton/Farmers Branch school board who served as grand marshal for the parade, said, “Today, we are celebrating a man who used his abilities and determination to make society and the world a better place.”
He added, “If Dr. King were alive today, he would tell us to do better and to get along with our neighbors.”
The crowd applauded loudly after six-year-old Kanae Wise came to the microphone and rattled off a lengthy poem titled “Did You Know Dr. Martin Luther King Jr…..” Among the questions she asked and answered were: Did you know:
* That the holiday commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was signed into law 15 years after his death, by President Ronald Reagan?
* That Dr. King was presented a Nobel Peace Prize in1964 for having “contributed the most to the furtherance of peace among men?
* That the night before Dr. King was assassinated, he gave a speech to striking sanitation workers in which he alluded to almost prophetically about his death?
* That on April 4, 1968, he was assassinated on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn.?
The program also included performances by several musical groups.
Several on the program praised the Rev. Willie Rainwater and his wife Juanita for providing the leadership for the annual MLK parade and program for the past 16 years. Their daughter, Roshina Green, served as master of ceremonies for the program.
Rainwater is president of Christ Community Connection, Inc., which sponsored the parade in cooperation with the city of Carrollton. The non-profit organization provides scholarships for high school students in the Carrollton/Farmers Branch Independent School District.
Parade award winners were announced at the end of the program. Carrollton Youth Football was awarded the first place trophy; Rosemeade Elementary School, second place; and Thompson Elementary School, third place.