Quincy honors Dr. King

People across the country paused today to remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It's the 25th federal observance of King's birthday.

More than 200 people came together in Quincy for the city's annual observance.

Every winter when Alvin Simpson joins the crowd at the First Baptist Church to remember Dr. Martin Luther King, he recalls the hot summer of 1963 when he joined hundreds of thousands of people marching for civil rights in Washington D.C.

Simpson said, "It was so crowded, I had never seen so many people. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in one place for a common cause. ///The whole mall seemed to rejoice in what he was saying. It came alive in what he was saying.///It's a renewal of that day and years past."

Growing up in the south, Simpson saw discrimination firsthand. He says things have come a long way since then.

Simpson said, "I've seen a tremendous change. When I went to school there was no integration. Now children come together, molding together."

Reverend Cecil Fletcher met Dr. King years before his death. He says it was clear the civil rights leader was willing to sacrifice everything he had for a better future. He believes these celebrations of Dr. King's work are important for today's young people.

Rev. Fletcher said, "A writer once said what we don't remember we are doomed to repeat it. There are so many generations who didn't live in the moment. They need to understand the past so they have appreciation for the present."