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New Mexico and Nation Honor MLK Today

PHOTO: In New Mexico and across the country, the focus is on inclusion and volunteerism in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Residents of Belen, NM, are gathering for a candlelight vigil. Photo credit: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission.
PHOTO: In New Mexico and across the country, the focus is on inclusion and volunteerism in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Residents of Belen, NM, are gathering for a candlelight vigil. Photo credit: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission.
January 20, 2014

BELEN, N.M. - Activities around New Mexico today will remember and celebrate the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the work he did to bring greater racial equality to America. In the town of Belen, the Multicultural Commission is inviting community members to the "21st Annual Martin Luther King Candlelight Vigil."

Commission board member Margaret Mikelson said participants will meet at the library at 5:45 p.m. and walk to the town center carrying candles.

"A good crowd has attended in previous years," Mikelson said. "They have some guest speakers. There's even some entertainment; they have a couple of musical entertainers who will play."

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a federal holiday observed on the third Monday in January each year in honor of Dr. King's birthday, which was Jan. 15, 1929. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

Mikelson said the MLK Day event also includes awards for winners of an essay and poster contest from local middle and high schools. Dr. King's legacy of nonviolent protest and equality continues to resonate in Belen and around the nation, she added.

"We're glad to be a part of something that remembers such an important day and an important man. His dreams are not gone just because he is. They still live, and we still hope for a lot more peace and a lot more equality" she said.

Communities around the U.S. focus on volunteerism today, as part of the "MLK Day of Service."



Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NM