/ Modified jan 17, 2023 9:07 a.m.

Sierra Vista celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

Plans had to change due to weather but it didn't dampen the enthusiasm.

Sierra Vista MLK Celebration Attendees stood, clapped, and sang throughout the musical program led by Sierra Vista 1st Church of God in Christ minister of music Marlon Stokes. Jan. 16, 2023

It was a momentous day celebrating one man’s life, work, and legacy that all started with a Dream: a world where all are not judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Sierra Vista did its part to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a celebration at the Rothery Educational Service Center on Monday. The planned parade down Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy in Sierra Vista was canceled due to the rain.

But nothing — including the weather — could dampen the celebration nor the spirit.

“He dreamed of an America where all would enjoy the richness of freedom and the security of justice,” said Sierra Vista Mayor Clea McCaa during his delivery of the proclamation. “Our nation has come far in realizing Dr. King’s Dream. But there is still work to be done in remembering Dr. King’s vision.”

Chief Warrant Officer Antwan Bowman further expanded on the importance of keeping Dr. King’s vision alive and called on Sierra Vistans to stay vigilant.

“On the occasion of Mayor McCaa’s swearing-in, a community leader imparted to me that Sierra Vista possesses an innate ability to resist external influences, ideas, and beliefs that are not consistent with moral, ethical, and virtuous living,” said Bowman. “Sierra Vista I charge you to remain vigilant and wary of external forces within our society that will seek to divide us …”

He concluded with a call to maintain this vigilance, or else “Sierra Vista citizens if you are not vigilant … the work of Dr. King and those like him could systematically be dismantled before your eyes.”

The afternoon was full of activities, which included speeches, dance, and music performances.

SV MLK Performance Dr. Viktoria Richardson performed a dance routine during the Greater Huachuca Area Branch of the NAACP’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on Jan. 16, 2023.

Behind the warmth of the festivities is a greater calling, fulfilling The Dream. First Vice President of the Greater Huachuca Area Branch of the NAACP Tim Ash said that while we’ve come a long way, there’s still a way to go. He said that generally most overt forms of discrimination are becoming less common, but covert discrimination still persists.

“So, some of the redistricting may be considered a little more covert in terms of disenfranchisement and marginalize certain cultures or races — if you will,” said Ash. “But, there’s still some of that overt, that discrimination that you would think we wouldn’t see.

Ash invites folks to reflect on the life, lessons, and legacy of Dr. King.

“Just think about where we are today, and Dr. King as a man, as a leader,” said Ash. “We are missing that today. To celebrate his life, his legacy, as someone with courage. Who stood up and stood out for injustice, who put his life on the line, essentially, for everyone to have an equal chance.”

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