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The dream lives on

by JOEL MARTIN
Staff Writer | January 23, 2023 1:30 AM

MOSES LAKE — Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream is still alive.

That was the point that more than one speaker made at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration last Monday in Moses Lake. The event began with a march down Third Avenue to the Moses Lake Civic Center, and continued with songs, prayers and a reading of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech. That speech spoke of a day “when all of God's children, Black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing.”

“That speech, if you read through it, we're currently in that day. As I was looking out at the crowd, it was a very diverse crowd. And I saw that as he was speaking it, he was seeing into the future. And so I was thinking, I was standing in the future, looking back at what he was seeing, and it was just a surreal type of thing,” said Isaac Jones, who delivered the gathering’s keynote speech.

While racism may not be completely wiped out, about 30 people of various races and ethnicities gathered in the parking lot of the Surf ‘n Slide Water Park to begin the rally. Rev. Plasido Lindsey, pastor at Galilee Baptist Church, addressed the walkers before they set out.

“Let us remember that Dr. King had a dream and what the march was all about,” Lindsey said. “The march was about freedom and equality for all men and women, and as I look around, I can see that his dream not only lives on but is gradually coming together. So I'm grateful today that we can do this as a community.”

A larger crowd gathered at the Civic Center as the marchers arrived. About 100 people chatted over doughnuts in the lobby before settling in for the celebration of King’s life and legacy. The festivities were emceed by Charlie Jones, president of the Moses Lake Martin Luther King Jr. Committee, and opened with the National Anthem sung by Lorena Serrato. This was followed by a prayer by Pastor Art Brown of Light of Larson Church.

Several songs followed, performed by George Richardson and Phillip Christian, Glory Jones and Rufina Tormozov. Zoe Chavez and Kassie Trautman, both 11 years old, read a passage from the book of 1 Corinthians: “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up.”

Following the musical performances, Charlie Jones invited the winner of an essay contest on King’s life and legacy, fifth-grader Caitlin Carlson, to read her essay to the audience. Then Lindsey read the “I Have a Dream” speech and Isaac Jones delivered the keynote address. The ceremonies ended with a benediction, again delivered by Brown.

The word “love” figured strongly in many of the speeches and addresses.

“When Martin Luther King (Jr.) was speaking to the crowd, he was seeing the future,” Isaac Jones said after his speech. “But the crowd that he had was more minorities than it was Caucasians. But as I looked out there, it was salt and pepper. It was so rich. It wasn't just like a group here and a group there; it was everybody. It was just such a great turnout from the community and it was a great showing of what our community is. I love the community of Moses Lake. And that was a very good picture of what love is like.”

“I'm going to share with you two commandments that Jesus told us,” Charlie Jones said. “One, he says ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all of your soul and with all of your strength.’ That's the first commandment. And the second commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. So if we do those things, we have no room for anything else but love.”

“Let's not do it just today,” Lindsey said. “Remember, don't just speak to me today. But speak to me when you see me in Walmart. Act like you know me when you see me at Safeway, love on me when you see me at Winco, and I'll do the same for you.”

Joel Martin can be reached via email at jmartin@columbiabasinherald.com.

A Historic Month

February is Black History Month in the United States. For more information on what that means, visit www.blackhistorymonth.gov.

Life and legacy of MLK essay winners:

Third grade: Michael Kemenes, Junel Nicolas, Cole Quilter

Fourth grade: Jace Miller, Naomi Larson, Guillermo Sanchez

Fifth grade: Caitlin Coulson, Jane Fife, Sarah Heaps

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JOEL MARTIN/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

A diverse group gathered at the Surf ‘n Slide Water Park to begin the march celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday.

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JOEL MARTIN/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

Pastor Art Brown, right, delivers the opening prayer at the Martin Luther King Jr. Day service, accompanied by committee president and emcee Charlie Jones.

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JOEL MARTIN/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

Kassie Trautman, left, and Zoe Chavez read a scripture passage at the Moses Lake Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration Monday.

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