Organizers vow to remember the slain civil rights leader at a later date, even as they reaffirmed their conviction to honor King by following his example in their daily lives.
PLYMOUTH – Frigid temperatures and icy streets forced the postponement Monday of the town’s day of service in memory of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
But organizers vowed to remember the slain civil rights leader at a later date, even as they reaffirmed their conviction to honor King by following his example in their daily lives.
“If we live a life of true servitude while championing social justice as the Rev. Dr. King did, then every day honors him, whomever we serve above and those around us,” Vedna Heywood, a member of the Plymouth No Place For Hate Committee, said Monday after bad weather postponed three events set to honor King.
The No Place For Hate Committee and the Plymouth Area Interfaith Community Alliance planned a coffee house Sunday night and a day of service and a religious service in memory of King on Monday.
The postponements were wise, though difficult decisions.
The prayer service, set for Monday morning, was to follow the day of service and would have featured a procession from The Spire Center up Russell and Sever streets to Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
But after heavy rain and freezing temperatures, much of the roadway and sidewalks were still sheets of ice on Monday morning.
Members of the church used ice choppers and shovels to clear the path to the church Monday morning but acknowledged it would have been risky to have people walking to the church under such difficult conditions.
“We’re going to do something. We’re not going to forget about Martin,” Brother Gregory White said while clearing the walkway. “He’s a true fighter for equal rights. It wasn’t just about the color of skin. It wasn’t just for us. It was for equality for all people.”
Barbara Aharoni, chairman of the No Place For Hate Committee, said her group had scheduled three hours of entertainment for the coffee house in the Church of the Pilgrimage. The coffee house will be rescheduled to sometime late this spring, when it won’t have to contend with such horrific weather or compete against playoff football games.
A broader audience will be helpful, Aharoni noted, as the coffee house is the committee’s lone fundraiser and the sole source of money for the scholarships that the No Place For Hate Committee gives to two local students every year.
The community alliance will also reschedule the day of service, which was aimed at supplying snack packs for students in after-school programs. Aharoni said organizers purchased supplies in advance and will still need help in assembling the care packages at a later date.
Heywood, who also serves on the town’s School Committee, said the postponements offer an opportunity for people to reflect on what the holiday and day of service are all about.
“I think sometimes we kind of scramble and just hold this day or weekend in reverence, but his life was a life of servitude,” Heywood said. “If we look to honor him, then every day should be a life that honors what he did and died for.”
Heywood said she would like to organize a panel discussion when the observances are rescheduled that would examine where people have been and are going as a society.
“For me, with all the events recently, you have to realize how fragile our civil liberties are, but you have to understand that people fought and died for those civil liberties and it’s a continuous fight,” she said.