Activists mark MLK Day marching from Old Courthouse to interfaith service at Leonard Baptist Church

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ST. LOUIS – The 2019 St. Louis celebration honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King went on as planned despite the frigid temperatures.

“We know we have come a long way but we also know we have a long way to go,” said St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson.

The mayor joined hundreds of others to brave the bitter cold to honor the legacy of Dr. King outside the Old Courthouse in downtown. The building was locked because of the government shutdown but the civic ceremony was not affected by the weather.

“…We are committed and staying focused on what Dr. King gave to all of us. The three evils are still present: poverty, racism, and violence. We must continue,” said Mertean Gayles, president of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Committee.

The group marched from the Old Courthouse to Leonard Baptist Church on Compton Avenue, where an interfaith service took place. Dr. King won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his non-violent campaigns which shined a light toward reconciliation and justice.

“He was about taking us from where we are to a better place and more unified nation and recognizing our strength lies in how we embrace our diversity,” said St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed.

Dr. King graduated high school at 15, earned his bachelors at 19, his masters at 22, and doctorate at 26.

Reverend Darryl Gray, who marched with Dr. King, said homeless dying on the streets and prisons being filled with black men and women are what he would be talking about on this day.

“These are things Dr. King would have spoken about if he were alive today, so we continue his message and his dream,” Gray said.

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