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Everyday deeds honor Martin Luther King

Some plan to spend today remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy.

They'll attend a march. Go to a program at a local church. Maybe spend some time reflecting on his speeches.

But once the day is over and the folding chairs are tucked away for next year's celebration, how is King's memory reflected in people's lives? President-elect Barack Obama has urged people to make the day "a national day of service," and not just a day off from work or school.

The Times asked four members of the community from different walks of life the same question:

After Martin Luther King Jr. Day is over, what do you do throughout the year to remember his legacy?

Susan Arnett, 45, New Port Richey, president, United Way of Pasco County

"The whole concept of having the dream really drives what we do. Without realizing it, we've incorporated his dream into our work. We want a better life and justice for everyone. I believe a lot of what we do is driven by what he did. Take a look at the work done with the agencies that work with people who are less advantaged."

Ebony Pickett, 34, Zephyrhills, occupational therapist

"I try to treat everyone the same — the way I'd want to be treated. As a Christian, it should be reflected in your everyday walk. His (King's) legacy exemplifies all that a Christian can be. Outside of the marches, I try to live a life that treats all people equally, which reflects his dream."

Andre Fields, 53, New Port Richey, retired

"Remembering his speech, 'I Have A Dream,' and what the dream really meant, which was uniting all colors together. When I think of Obama winning the presidency and going to the rallies, you see the races that were there supporting him. It made me realize what King had envisioned when he was making that speech."

Alice Delgardo, 57, Holiday, notary public

"Rev. King was a man of faith. One of the many quotes he had that always resonated with me was to have faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, you just have to take the first step. I use that. We're here to try and help one another. Sometimes, we get caught up in the me, me, me, instead of the we, we, we. If we do that, it will eventually come back to us."

If you go

Martin Luther King Jr. Day events are being held on both sides of the county:

Port Richey: The African American Club of West Pasco's celebration is from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. today at Union Missionary Baptist Church, 6235 Pine Hill Road in Port Richey. The program will feature guest speaker Mildred Wilson, widow of staff Sgt. Wilmer H. Wilson of the Tuskegee Airmen. Attendees should bring nonperishable items to donate to the Volunteer Way food bank. Call club president Alice Delgardo at (727) 255-9174.

Dade City: The east Pasco Martin Luther King Jr. Day program will be held at 11 a.m. today at the Church of the Living Christ, 13415 Johnson St. in Dade City. The Rev. G.I. Bradley of Palmetto will speak. Call Lorenzo Coffie at (352) 521-0247.

Everyday deeds honor Martin Luther King 01/18/09 [Last modified: Thursday, January 22, 2009 4:32pm]
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