The memory of Martin Luther King Jr. and what he stood for is remembered 50 years after his death by a countless amount of people, especially in the San Marcos community.
Members of the San Marcos community gathered at the LBJ-MLK crossroads memorial on April 4 for the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination.
The event was sponsored by the P2P Movement, Dunbar Heritage Association and the Calaboose African American Museum. People from all walks of life, locals and out-of-state travelers attended this remembrance of King.
The commemoration included a prayer, speeches from various members of the community and those who sponsored the event, singing of the gospel song “We Shall Overcome” that became one of the most famous Civil Rights Movement anthems, and a rendition of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
At 6:01 p.m., the precise time King was assassinated in 1968, attendees rang bells 39 times to represent how many years King lived.
Attendees spoke of how King’s life and legacy affected them and shared personal stories of how King changed their life.
John Leonard, an attendee of the commemoration from New Jersey, is one of the many lives that King influenced. During the event, Leonard shared a story of when King visited his high school eight days before King was assassinated. Leonard said it was a life-changing experience.
“The whole Civil Rights Movement has been significant to me most of my life,” Leonard said. “I was aware of what was going on in the 1960s when the Civil Rights Movement was really starting to reach its peak in the south. I vividly recall watching television when I was just a kid watching firehouses and dogs lose on people simply standing up for their rights in the United States Constitution. If that doesn’t open your eyes and open your soul and open your mind to the journey we had to make and still have to make, nothing ever will.”
Dex Ellison, City Council member of District 1 in Kyle and Texas State alumnus, attended the event to support his father, Lloyd Ellison, perform the rendition of King.
“To be part of this as a millennial and seeing people here of different races and backgrounds is what I love,” Ellison said. “That’s what my dad raised me to do, is to be a part of your community, love everyone. I think that was part of King’s dream.”
James Hubbard is an alderman from the city of Springfield, Tennessee who shared his own story of how King influenced him to pursue the position in office he holds today.
“King drove me, he drove me to be who I am,” Hubbard said. “I accepted his philosophy and I accepted his teachings. Love even those that hate you, stand together as friends and perish as friends. He stood for the unity of all humans an the message that he sent was love. Love.”