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      Mexico celebrates Dr. King's birthday

      About three dozen people marched from a local church through the morning fog to the Audrain County courthouse for a King Day ceremony. This program never got organized last year and city officials were glad to see it come back.

      "The voice of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has reached the hearts of people around the country and across the world, Mexico Mayor Virginia Robertson said.

      A man of uncommon oratorical skill, Martin Luther King TMs word is now woven into the fabric of American culture.

      But his disciples said it was his willingness to help the downtrodden and to confront injustice which must be emulated to keep his dream alive. And the situation in Haiti presents a perfect opportunity.

      "He expected us, and we should be expected to reach out to help others, Mexico School Board President Ken Hoover said.

      "So, we have to not just daydream, Master of Ceremony Myra Nunnelly said. We have to get involved.

      Martin Luther King was known for getting involved. His intervention in the marches from Selma to Montgomery Ala. in 1965 brought the national media spotlight to the voting rights abuses in that state.

      "We will dramatize the whole situation and seek to arouse the conscience of the federal government, Dr. King said. "The greater the hate, the greater the unfairness, the greater the wrong, the bigger the risk we have to take.

      Too young to understand the meaning, Sharon Harvey Davis saw her father leave the family home in St. Louis to participate in King's call to action in Selma. Then 45 years later, Davis is the director of diversity for the Ameren Corporation. She said keeping Martin Luther King's dream alive is actually very simple.

      "When you see hate, confront it, Davis said. When you see unfairness, stop it. When you see a wrong, make it right, no excuses, no pretext, no apology needed. It is easy to remember, it is simple to understand, and it is so very hard to do.

      King Day organizers say the protections contained in laws adopted in the 1960's on voting rights, public accommodations, housing, and education were hard won and they require a continuing vigilance to be maintained.