Stephens County marks Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
An interfaith service at Trinity CME Church, followed by a march from the church to the steps of Toccoa City Hall Monday commemorated the holiday.
Once at Toccoa City Hall, the high school division winner of this year’s MLK essay contest read her essay to those in attendance.
This year’s winner was Staci Moore from Stephens County High School.
Her theme was “Celebrating the dream by striving for the future no matter the challenges that lie ahead.”
She said Dr. King was a hero who worked to terminate the lines between races and creeds.
“Dr. King lived to keep alive the hopes of all of our ancestors,” said Moore. “Their dreams became his dreams and through him, we now remember. We now remember being brought to new lands as property. We now remember being beat down and spat upon. We now remember being the stepping stool of those of a lighter complexion. But today we travel as we please. We no longer beat down and abuse each other, but beat down the opposition that prevents us from celebrating that dream come true.”
Moore said that today as people look through the eyes of those before us, they feel successful.
However, she noted that Dr. King himself called 1963 a beginning, not an end.
“We have willed to exceed expectations and stand firm in the belief that someday there will be hatred no more, not just in America, but worldwide,” said Moore. “In the hills of Georgia that Dr. King spoke of, we unite, just as he dreamt.”
Moore then said that people will march on into the future to continue to work towards Dr. King’s goals.
Monday’s activities concluded a series of activities in Toccoa to honor Dr. King over the past couple of weeks. Those activities included a talent and fashion show, a youth musical extravaganza, reflections from senior citizens, an art competition, and an essay competition.