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Long County celebrates Martin Luther King Day
MR MLK3web
LCHS chorus and director Myron Grimes entertained and inspired all who were in attendance. - photo by Submitted / Coastal Courier
LUDOWICI - Residents of Long County weathered frigid temperatures Monday to honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The day kicked off with participants meeting at St. Phillips Missionary Baptist Church, where they were led in prayer by Pastor David McCall. The group then marched down Boundary Street and assembled in the Long County High School cafeteria where the program, "A Celebration of Life for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.," was presented.
The group was welcomed by Zenith Frasier, who commented on the song, "The Greatest Love of All," and challenged all to recognize that "that love begins with you."
Long County School Board members Florence Baggs then addressed the crowd, and cited how the civil rights movement was started with the courage of Rosa Parks, and then led by King, "whose ideals fostered a land seeking equality for all people."
A video, which showed highlights of King's life, was shown. It also depicted how his dream of equality had progressed through pictures of students of all races and ethnic backgrounds at LCHS in both recreation and classroom settings.
The P and P Praise Dancers, ranging in age from 5 to 12, then danced and gave glory to God through their dancing.
Keynote speaker Long/Liberty Juvenile Court Judge Linnie Darden III then spoke
"In many ways, the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King has come true in Long County," he said
Darden also spoke of the envy of other nations throughout the world that desire to have the freedoms that Americans have in the United States.
"Other nations want the freedom we have; the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the freedom of religion, the freedom from discrimination, and the freedom to eradicate ignorance and to enjoy a long life," the judge said.
But Darden also said, "But freedom isn't free, it will always cost us, but we can pay the price."
He spoke of the responsibility of all to ensure that King's dreams continue to grow and that it was the responsibility of all to instill values and responsibility into the youth.  
He closed saying youth of today need goals set for them, and that through the family and through education all must help them attain these milestones.
After Darden, several others addressed the crowd, including Long County Probate Judge Marie Middleton, Clerk of Court Frank Middleton, Baggs, Family Connection Coordinator the Rev. William Miller and Sheriff Cecil Nobles.
MLK Committee Chairman Mary Hamilton thanked all who had been a part of the day, and challenged everyone to stop talking about it and take part in making Long County a better place.
Minister Paul Bailey Jr. closed the ceremony with a benediction.
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