Freedom Memorial Breakfast honors Martin Luther King Jr.

Published 7:03 am Wednesday, January 17, 2024

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The Butler County Civic League organized a Freedom Memorial breakfast on Jan. 15 to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The event brought together community members to commemorate Dr. King’s legacy.

The breakfast began with an invocation by Reverend Tommy Means, followed by the Greenville High School JROTC presenting the colors and leading the Pledge of Allegiance. Chairman George Cook of the Butler County Civic League welcomed the attendees, followed by speeches from Greenville Mayor Dexter McClendon, Mayor Franklin Betterton of Georgiana, and McKenzie Mayor Lester Odom.

A notable moment was second grader Caci’on Johnson Mallard’s recitation of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Mallard’s father, Raymond Mallard, expressed pride in his son’s performance and understanding of the speech’s significance.

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“He actually did Juneteenth last year, and when they asked him to do it this year, he was glad to participate. He says it’s a big honor,” Mallard said. “I’m glad he was enthused and wanted to do it, and I’m so glad he understands why he’s doing it. He actually wanted me to take his poster off the wall that he made for Martin Luther King in first grade and hold it up while he spoke.”

The event also included musical performances by the Old Elam Missionary Baptist Church Youth Choir and UNITY. Attendees enjoyed a breakfast catered by Uncle E’s BBQ and Catering.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Terry Moorer delivered a keynote address. Moorer, a retired Colonel from the Alabama National Guard, shared insights from his life and distinguished career.

Betty Rogers, a long-time participant in the event, shared her memories of Dr. King’s visit to Greenville in 1965, emphasizing the impact of his message on her childhood experiences.

“When Dr. King came to Greenville, he spoke at our church,” Rogers said. “I was just a little child, but I remember.”

Rogers highlighted the enduring significance of Dr. King’s mission and the ongoing pursuit of equality and justice.

“I never dreamed when I was a little girl doing that, that the civil rights movement was starting at my church, and I would be one of the ones walking with Dr. King,” she said.

The Freedom Memorial breakfast provided a meaningful opportunity for the community to reflect on Dr. King’s legacy and the continued relevance of his message.