Jan 172005
Authors: Sara Crocker

Words remembering the values of Martin Luther King Jr. went unspoken on Monday.

The celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day focused around seven values King promoted: courage, dignity, service, justice, truth, compassion and humility.

Seven banners with each value were laid on tables at the foot of the Administration Building. Marchers were encouraged to sign the banners with thoughts about promotion of these values throughout the New Year.

Melvin Shaw, a freshman liberal arts open option major, said he wrote, "Courage is your weight, your weight behind your struggle," on the banner for courage.

Shaw said he signed every banner, but dignity was the most important value to him. This was the first march Shaw had attended.

"I see Martin Luther King, in my eyes, as a strong leader to all cultures," Shaw said. "I like the way he fought for everything he believed in."

Members of the Fort Collins community remembered King and his famous speech. They focused on asking if King's dream has been realized.

"We're not there yet," said Colorado Rep. and CSU professor Angie Paccione. "I'm optimistic that we can go all the way, but it's going to take a commitment."

Paccione, who is biracial, was the keynote speaker and was one of the leaders of the one-mile march from the Oval to Old Town.

Tony Daniels, assistant director of Black Student Services, gave a presentation to preface the seven values before the march in DC Bottoms of the Durrell Center. Daniels discussed King's message and its ties with love.

"The pure essence of Martin Luther King, the man, and these values is love and peace," Daniels said.

The banners were signed, and about 1,000 marchers, some carrying posters and singing gospel songs, filtered out of the Oval toward Old Town.

Tina Chavez, a Fort Collins resident, wore a shirt bearing the image of King and carried a sign that stated, "We shall overcome." She was in attendance with her family, which is multiracial.

"I've always been a strong believer of one race," Chavez said. "It just shows how far we've come over the years."

As the marchers arrived in Old Town, the banners were placed on the stage and Paccione delivered her address. She began by pointing out how far the civil rights movement has come, but reminded the crowd of the problems that remained.

"The gap between the haves and have nots are growing," Paccione said. "Let's be real here, there is still much more work to be done."

LaKendra Moore, a Fort Collins resident, said she came to the march to honor King and celebrate the achievements of the civil rights movement.

"He laid a lot of the groundwork for (African Americans) to be a part of the community like everybody else," Moore said.

Following Paccione's address, an excerpt of King's "I Have a Dream" speech was played.

"With four words Rev. Martin Luther King shook the core of this country," Paccione said.

While this may be another Monday for some, Shaw saw it as a day to reflect on the values of King.

"I figure that today would be my opportunity to show I support everything he stood for," Shaw said.

Breakout of history:

Martin Luther King Jr. Day was not adopted until 1983 and the first national celebration did not occur until 1986, according to www.holidays.net. The holiday remembering the life and birth of King was met with controversy, and it took nearly 15 years for the third Monday of January to be recognized as Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

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