LEWISBURG, WV (WOAY) – The people of Lewisburg kicked off Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a march through the city to honor his legacy.
“Just like back when Martin Luther King made the march,” James Wilmer, the emcee for the event, said. “He always marched for the rights of everyone, and so we want to remember that by doing the same thing, emulating what he did.”
Many gathered and marched through the streets of Lewisburg of all ages and backgrounds, but this was an especially emotional day for Lewisburg’s very first African American female mayor, Beverly White, who declared this week Martin Luther King Jr. Week.
“When I signed it, it hit me that because of all the work he did and others in civil rights, I’m able to be the mayor of Lewisburg, and it touched me, kind of overwhelmed me for a minute and it was like, ‘Wow. I really am the mayor because of all the hard work of all the civil rights leaders over the years that I’m allowed to do this,’” White said.
With the cold weather and snow, the committee that puts this on was worried that would affect turnout. However, Larry Davis, who is on the committee says it did not seem to be a factor.
“We had a great crowd and they sang ‘Ain’t Nobody Gonna Turn Me Around’ all the way up the street in a parade,” Davis said.
And at the conclusion of the four-block march at the United Methodist Church of Lewisburg, everyone sat down and shared a meal, a living embodiment of Martin Luther King Jr’s dream.
“We lead with love and we’ll guide with love and we’ll stay with love,” Mayor White said.