FORT MILL --
Fort Mill will host its sixth annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day at 11 a.m. Monday in front of Town Hall.
The day is important because it promotes all people to volunteer to give service to others and the civic arena for humanity, said Rufus Rudy Sanders, chairman of the recently opened Fort Mill History Museum and Mondays keynote speaker.
Fort Mill Parks and Recreation Director Brown Simpson Jr. puts together this annual program not only to remember the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but also to demonstrate that Kings message is still vitally important today.
It is important to remember the life of an individual that lived to express equality and justice, Simpson said.
Dr. King, who became a leader in the civil rights movement in the U.S. and preached nonviolent, passive resistance during a series of protests, was assassinated in 1968. He is remembered as a national symbol of peace and the struggle for equality in America.
The community gathering brings unity, harmony and awareness to the volunteer opportunities in the Fort Mill community, said Sanders, who grew up in Fort Mills Paradise community. The predominantly African-American neighborhood had its own high school during segregation.
Each year since the town began holding official commemorations, the program has found different ways to showcase Kings life. This years event will feature poetry readings to reflect on why this day is observed, along with a jazz performance by students from Nation Ford High School.
We must always in the second decade of the 21st century never forget the importance to judge people by the content of their character and intellect and not by the color of their skin, Sanders said, quoting King.
Fort Mill is a diverse community that respects all aspects of life. Dr. Kings message is as important today if not more important as it was 40 years ago, Simpson said.
Fort Mill Mayor Danny Funderburk will preside over the program, which is free and open to the public.
For more information, call Town Hall at 803-547-2116 or Simpson at 803-547-2273 or go to www.fortmillsc.gov.