By Mrs. Jennifer Bacchus (AMC)January 23, 2020
ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- The depot held a breakfast in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Jan. 9 at the Berman Varner House.
Marcus Reid, Alabama's 16th Judicial Circuit's chief deputy district attorney, spoke during the event, highlighting how much of King's "Dream" the nation has achieved and the work yet to be done.
He gave the example of a woman he met in the days of his private practice in the 1980s. She has been a bystander in the 1940s when a friend of hers had castrated a young, black boy.
"This is something that had haunted her for her entire life," said Reid. "She felt like she needed to tell me about it and how disturbed she was about it."
Reid said at the time the event took place, in rural Mississippi in the 1940s, there were no consequences for such actions.
"It was one of thousands of similar stories," said Reid. "We'll never know how many people, how many young folks, how many children, how many adults paid a price for simply being who they were."
He recalled the day Martin Luther King Jr. was killed, in 1968.
"I remember going to high school and I remember seeing some kids who were happy about it," he said.
King, according to Reid, was not a peace maker, but a disrupter who knew there was hatred aimed at him.
"Make no mistake, the forces that cultivated and nurtured that hatred that took his life as well as the lives of hundreds of others who worked toward positive social change haven't gone away," said Reid.
He urged the crowd to continue to be positive and honor the legacy of King and the strides made toward civil rights. But, also, don't forget.
"The past is never dead. It's not even past," said Reid. "We do not serve the memories of Dr. King and the needs and the greater good of our community by ignoring reality and what is going on."
Reid also reminded the group of King's most lasting legacy, hope.
He quoted King: "Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars."
Reid closed his message by reminding the employees gathered, "Love will always overcome hate, we all need to remember that."