March on Washington, Sioux City Siouxland commemoration

28 Aug

I attended a small, under 50, gathering today commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.s’ riveting speech in Sioux City, Iowa. It was a nice ceremony, only sad that more people didn’t attend. Holding it at Noon or lunch time I am certain it is inconvenient to many, and holding it in the city’s city council chambers is a small venue. The mayor read a proclamation after a prayer to start the commemoration. Then a local NAACP leader recited Mr. King’s “Mountaintop” speech and finally there was a patriotic song.

I found it interesting that since 1986 when Congress created the national holiday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the city of Sioux City has not officially recognized that holiday. A little reading online shows that by 2000 all 50 states had adopted the holiday. Woodbury County, in which Sioux City is located, has officially acknowledged the holiday. During today’s ceremony local NAACP member Richard Hayes, also former director of the human rights commission, again asked the current city council to formally recognize this national holiday. He said he asked the council in 1986. And hopes that by Jan. 20, 2014, the city will recognize the holiday.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

 

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