Honoring King's memory at Governor's Mansion
At the Governor's Mansion on Monday night, Gov. Rick Scott, First Lady Ann Scott and Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll led ceremonies honoring the memory of slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. More than 250 people attended as a light drizzle fell outside the official residence.
The star of the evening was Brendin Mitchell, a high school student from Ocala, who recited King's 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech flawlessly without using notes. The teenager even captured the cadence and enunciation patterns of one of the most memorable speeches of the 20th Century. When he finished the speech (" ... Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!") Scott strode across the room and shook the student's hand. Carroll said the parental support Mitchell received is a model for all: "That's what we're striving for in this state," said the state's first African-American lieutenant governor.
"We have got to not stop," Scott said in informal remarks about Dr. King. "We have got to do exactly what he did with his life. We've got to fight every day to get rid of all the injustice we can, open everybody's mind to other ideas and other people, and if we do that, we will change this state and change the country." He then shifted into a familiar theme about the need to "get the state back to work."
The governor lingered and posed for pictures with guests for nearly a half hour and then departed. Also in attendance were Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady, Justice Ricky Polston, Rep. Tom Grady, R-Naples, and Rep. Alan Williams, D-Tallahassee.