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Two events, one hero | Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

MLK Day events in Largo salute past, present

The Largo community honored civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at two major events in recent days with an eye toward Tuesday's historic inauguration of Barack Obama as the nation's first black president.

On Saturday afternoon, the city hosted a celebration at Ulmer Park, featuring live music and games.

On Monday, about 50 members of the Greater Ridgecrest community came together at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church to celebrate King's legacy. The prayer breakfast, organized by Friends of Ridgecrest and the Greater Ridgecrest Crime Watch groups, overflowed with appreciation and acknowledgement of Obama's historic swearing in.

Speakers specifically recognized how King's work set the stage for Obama. "Tomorrow we celebrate a new day, a new president, an African-American president," said Marvin Green, a member of St. Mary's Missionary Baptist Church.

"Martin Luther King marched so Obama could run," said the Rev. Willie McClendon, who was honored, along with his congregation, for supporting community organizations in Ridgecrest.

Lorri Helfand, Times staff writer

MLK Day events in Largo salute past, present 01/20/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 9:08pm]

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