Martin Luther King Jr. celebration draws hundreds

ASHLAND, Ore. — Freedom, diversity, love… all messages shared Monday at Ashland’s 31st annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration.

Voices sang in unison, poetry was read aloud, as many took to the stage in honor of Dr. King, the civil rights leader assassinated in 1968.

“We’ve come a long way, but we still have so far to go,” said Greta Oglesby, event attendee.

People came from Ashland and beyond to celebrate Dr. King’s vision of equality.

“The acceptance of differences… and how when we all come together we realize we are all so much more alike,” said Marisela Mendoza, event attendee.

And of love.

“Love sees no color, you know what I mean, for him to have a message of loving your enemy… love conquers all,” said Sidney Cooper, event attendee.

Others like, Mary Lilleboe, remembered loved ones.

“She was shuttling people back to Selma and was murdered by the Ku Klux Klan,” said Lilleboe.

Lilleboe’s mother was the only white woman to die participating in the civil rights movement.

“You know that all the suffering… every tear… every hurt… was not in vain,” she said.

Today’s event… holding promise for the future.

“And to not sit down… and raise our voices… and speak out and vote… and march,” said Greta Oglesby.

About 900 people attended later marching to Ashland’s plaza and listening to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

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