(KCPW News) Bells were heard in Utah and across the country on Wednesday as the nation honored the legacy of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Wednesday marks the 50th anniversary of King’s historic speech and the March on Washington, a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement in America.
To commemorate the anniversary, Governor Gary Herbert ordered bells across the state to ring at 1 p.m. local time. Herbert also honored the state’s Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Commission.
On the steps of the state Capitol, the Governor said King’s words resonate all over the world to this day.
“That speech has inspired millions of people – not only in this country, but around the world. And the dream of equality is something we still foster, we still search for, because we know that in every corner it isn’t there,” Herbert says.
“There are parts of this country, parts of the world where equality is not an everyday occurrence. So we still have work to do as we follow Dr. King’s admonition in trying to judge people by the content of their character.”
Also speaking on Wednesday was the Reverend France Davis of the Calvary Baptist Church in Salt Lake City. He was present at the March on Washington fifty years ago, and he vividly remembers the effect King had on the crowd.
“Somebody introduced the moral leader of the world: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” Davis says. “He opened his mouth, and the opening of his mouth was like turning on electrical current in a dark room. And the lights began to bloom.”
Moments before 1 p.m., the Calvary Baptist Choir sang “We Shall Overcome,” which was also the melody played by the Capitol’s bells.
At the top of the hour, Utah and the nation “let freedom ring.”
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