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MLK remembered by locals

Camilla Mayor Mary Jo Haywood makes the keynote address at the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration held aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany.

Camilla Mayor Mary Jo Haywood makes the keynote address at the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration held aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany.

MCLB-ALBANY -- In keeping with the theme "Remember! Celebrate! Act! A Day On, Not a Day Off," those aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany recently took some time to reflect on the legacy of a key figure from the Civil Rights Movement.

The base conducted its annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration Tuesday.

"To me, it (the celebration) is an opportunity for people to continue the legacy," said Camilla Mayor Mary Jo Haywood, the event's keynote speaker. "We still have some of the obstacles that Martin Luther King Jr. faced."

Col. Terry Williams, the base's commanding officer, gave words of

welcome at the event.

"This is a celebration; it's important we remember Martin Luther King Jr.," Williams said in his address. "You can't remember what we are here for without thinking of the impact (King had). I truly believe this country is a better country for his efforts."

After Lt. Kenneth Miller, the base's command chaplain, delivered the invocation, Maintenance Center Albany Commanding Officer Col. Terry Reid took the stage.

In his remarks, Reid reflected on the impact of King's cause.

"Today, we pause to reflect on the life of an extraordinary man," he

said. "He talked the talk and walked the walk. In his short life, he was instrumental (in addressing) the flaws facing America. Dr. King saw firsthand the affliction (imposed) by the separation of race. He desperately wanted to find an instrument to address change. He led campaign after campaign in an effort to secure change.

"Dr. King did not waver. He kept on marching; he kept on protesting."

Haywood took the opportunity in her remarks to speak to the audience on King's behalf about the progress that has been made in having his dream realized.

"I tried to feed the hungry, I tried to love and serve others," she said. "Tell them (those present at Tuesday's event) not to stop and honor me, but to pause and reflect on how to keep (the vision) alive.

People use as a crutch the notion they don't know what they need to do. Tell them not to pick and choose who they will help."

Haywood also spoke on King's behalf on what needs to be done to move the cause forward.

"Oh, how great it was when that man (President Obama) was elected," she continued. "But until nobody is unjustly imprisoned, until no child is poorly educated ... the White House is not enough.

"Don't let them off the hook."

Haywood was elected mayor of Camilla in 2007, becoming the first black and first female to hold the position in the city's history. She was inducted into the Southern Rural Black Women's Hall of Fame the same year. She is a native of Mitchell County.

King was born Jan. 15, 1929, in Atlanta. On April 4, 1968, he was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn. He was a 1964 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to combat racial segregation and discrimination by nonviolent means.

"We still have a long way to go before we realize Dr. King's dream," Reid said at the closing of his remarks. "The dream is a continuing

vision for blacks and whites."