City of Monroe hosts 42nd annual MLK Birthday Salute

Local News

MONROE, LA. (KTVE/KARD)— Many across the ArkLaMiss are celebrating the life of Martin Luther King Jr and reflecting on the impact he left on communities across the country.

Dr. King’s 92nd birthday is tomorrow, but the City of Monroe will celebrate the iconic civil rights leader in a ceremony this morning. One thing that’s going to be different this year, is most of the seats will be empty.

“Usually we have hundreds of people at the event and this year we had to scale that back thanks to coronavirus,” Michelli Martin, City Communications Director, said.

Martin said City officials have thought of every alternative to make sure the ceremony goes on while being COVID cautious.

“And for the city of Monroe that was paramount, we needed to make sure that we are honoring the legacy of Dr. King, and not only Dr. King, we are using that opportunity to honor locals in our community who are carrying on his message. That is one of the most important things,” Martin said.

Martin said while many people can’t physically attend due to COVID restrictions, they can attend from home. That’s why they’re taking it to the web.

“We are providing a livestream of the event. It’s going to be on the City of Monroe’s Facebook page. We have worked really hard to try to share this event with the community and I’m really looking forward to seeing what this new endeavor looks like,” Martin said.

Through the ceremony city officials hope to encourage people to stride for the greater good, just as Dr. King intended.

“In times like today, we have seen a lot of turmoil, a lot of just things we never thought we’d see and I think Dr. King’s message is one that we need to stride to everyday no matter what you are doing in all walks of life,” Martin said.

The MLK Birthday Salute will kick off 11am at the W. L. “Jack Howard” Theater located at the Monroe Civic Center.

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