EAST ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KSDK) - For the second time in U.S. history, the presidential inauguration fell on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and that coincidence was the subject of a service at St. Luke A.M.E. Church in East St. Louis.
It began at noon Monday, less than an hour after the service for our 44th president in our nation's capitol began. And on this day, it was fitting for his hand to rest on a bible used my Dr. King, fitting for the pulpit back in East St. Louis to be filled with such pride.
"It is an enormous step," said Terrien Fennoy, who is a resident of Fairview Heights and was in attendance. "We can actually see the dream coming to fruition."
"I think we've gotten there," chimed in 12-year-old Maysha Vickers.
Through a child's eyes, the day's collision of celebrations confirm that Dr. King's dream has come true. But others there, who have seen more, say there is more to be done when it comes to civil rights and equality in America.
"I know many people don't know this and some don't believe it, but racism is still alive and well in this country, so there are still some things we have to do but we've come a long way," explained Dr. Lillian Parks, who is a trustee of the church.
"The dream is for us to continue having fair and equitable housing practices, employment practices and just people having great opportunities for education, quality healthcare, quality way to live the American dream, and I think when we can all have that dream, then Dr. King's dream will truly be in fruition," said Mayor Alvin Parks.
"This is just the beginning of what's to come," Fennoy added.
This is the second time in U.S. history that the presidential inauguration took place on MLK Day. The first was in 1997 at the start of President Clinton's second term.