A community observance in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was held on Monday January 15th. This year's theme was "The Future of the Dream...Education is the Key".
The Decatur County Courthouse, with many in attendance, was the site of the opening ceremony. Liz Tomlin, Chairperson of the Decatur County Democratic Party and organizer of the celebration, welcomed everyone.
Greetings were also received from Mayor Pro-Tem Luther Conyers on behalf of the city, Sheriff Wiley Griffin, Mr. Wallace Sholar,representative for Congressman Sanford Bishop and County Commissioner Earl Perry.
3 minute video of the celebration
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MLK Parade Video
Following several selections from the Potter Street Elementary Honor Chorus, solo selection by Elder Michael Corker and prayers from local clergy, the group gathered to march on to the Pilgrim Rest Church.
Leading the way was this year's Grand Marshal, Col. Gary Breedlove. Col. Breedlove is the director of the Bainbridge High School Air Force Junior ROTC. Col. Breedlove was joined by his wife for the march to Pilgrim Rest and then to Hutto Middle School.
At the Pilgrim Rest M.B. Church, Rev. Adolph Noble, Sr. spoke about the works of Dr. King as well as those of Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King and our own Dr. Joseph H. Griffin. Marion Breedlove also spoke of the need for the community to come together as one.
On to Hutto Middle School for the conclusion of the day's events. There were several representatives from both the city and county government: Bainbridge Mayor Mark Harrell, City Councilman Luther Conyers, Decatur County Commissioner Chairman Palmer Rich, Decatur County Administrator Tom Patton and District Attorney Joe Mulholland and attorney Paul Fryer.
Decatur County School Superintendent Ralph Jones and Bainbridge High School Graduation Coach Dr. Myra Evans spoke of ways that the children are being encouraged to learn and live together.
The guest speaker, Mr. Kenneth Cutts, Director for Congressman Sanford Bishop, reminded everyone Dr. King's dream: "We must learn to live together as brothers (and sisters) or perish together as fools."
Also quoted from one of Dr. King's speeches "One should seek to do his life's work as if God Almighty called him at this particular moment in history to do it. And he must do it with a sense of cosmic responsibility, no matter how small it happens to be. He must do a little job in a big way. He must do an ordinary job in an extraordinary way. 'If you can't be a pine on the top of a hill, be a scrub in the valley, but be the best little scrub on the side of the hill."
"Be a bush if you can't be a tree. If you can't be a highway, just be a trail. If you can't be the sun, be a star. For it isn't by size that you win or you fail. Be the best of whatever you are.'"
A special place in the ceremony was in honor of Dr. Joseph H. Griffin. Presented by his grandson, Mr. Joe Perry. Dr. Griffin also had a vision of healing the black population in Bainbridge and was the first black physician in the area in the 1930's.
A local hero that we will write more about during Black History Month. Dr. Griffin's daughter Mary Louise Griffin Perry was also recognized.
A wonderful day of recognizing those that have gone before us with a challenge to continue the dream.