NoD: Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in Somerset

Below is a modified rerun of a 2010 post about my experience walking in Somerset’s annual March to Remember Dr. King. This year, I won’t be able to take off and explore and march. Across Kentucky – in small towns and large – we gather to pay homage to a great American who taught us so much.

Somerset, Kentucky

I celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Day 2010 by hopping in the car and driving to see more of Kentucky. As I drove into Somerset along Highway 80, I couldn’t help but notice the flashing lights of a police car and a crowd of about sixty persons gathering in front of the old courthouse. I got out of the car and joined the group in prayer. A short march through downtown followed and I was immediately welcomed into this diverse crowd which was marching to remember the legacy of the slain civil rights leader. One of the marchers, Richard (below), invited me to join them for a meal which followed this annual walk. Unfortunately, I wanted to drive more and I declined the offer. I wish I had taken the opportunity to sit down and talk and learn.


The prayer in front of the Pulaski County Courthouse reminded me of another prayer I shared with a diverse crowd the year before on January 20, 2009. Then, we were led by Rev. Rick Warren. He asked that we all join him in praying the Lord’s Prayer at the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

There, on Washington’s Pennsylvania Avenue – surrounded by people various ages, races and backgrounds – so many voices prayed the Lord’s Prayer. Our Father, who art in Heaven… On that day, just over a year ago, it was truly about We the People.

I thought of this experience while I was in Somerset. Somerset is a small southern town located in a county and in an area sympathetic to the Confederacy. Memorials here speak to the Confederate “Southern Manhood” and “Glorious Immortality.”

History and memorials aside, Pulaski Countians know and recognize the import and legacy of Dr. King. Together, they walked and sang and remembered and lived his Dream. We sang and hummed “We shall overcome.”

Richard thought I was with the local paper. He wanted his picture taken; he had always wanted to be in the paper. I told him I wasn’t with the paper, but that I’d make sure his photo got published on a blog. If you know Richard, make sure he sees this! The local paper did, however, post this article about the march.