110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
President Barack Obama calls for God’s blessings on US
By Pat Andrews
posted Jan 25, 2013 - 1:18:30pm
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day began Jan. 21 with an annual breakfast at Stetson University, followed by a march to Chisholm Community Center in the Spring Hill area of DeLand.
King was the civil-rights leader famous for the “I have a dream” speech delivered to more than 200,000 civil-rights supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 28, 1963.
King said, in part, “I have a dream, that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!”
The speech is considered a defining moment of the American civil-rights movement, and it made King the leader of that movement.
Almost 50 years later in DeLand, people celebrated both the life and legacy of Dr. King and the inauguration of President Barack Obama, who is beginning his second term in office,
The atmosphere in the gym at Chisholm Community Center was joyous.
Alberta Jackson, 83 years old, heard the original 1960s speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. calling for racial equality. She lived through segregation, the civil-rights movement and the election of President Barack Obama in 2008.
“This to me is a most exciting day,” Jackson said. “This is one of the events Dr. Martin Luther King would have been so proud of. I’m so grateful I’m here to witness all this.”
The young Princesses of Praise from Greater Bethlehem Baptist Church in DeLand performed interpretive dance to celebrate the day’s meaning, and the VOGUE (Very Outstanding Girls Urging Excellence) Dancers of Southwestern Middle School clapped and danced out their praise of Dr. King.
While the youngsters didn’t share Jackson’s historic perspective, they and the audience enjoyed their salute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“They are our future,” VOGUE Dancers adviser Sharon Brown said as she watched the young people onstage.
Then, the audience adjourned to the main hall, where a large-screen television broadcast inaugural activities.
Preschoolers ran and played or devoured sandwiches provided by the Democratic Club of Northwest Volusia, as their elders sat transfixed, watching the events — particularly the president’s inaugural speech. Frequently, the audience clapped in agreement with Obama, who spoke of the links between the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
President Obama called for unity.
“My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it — so long as we seize it together,” he said.
The president touched on topics in the national conscience, such as war and the need to end it, while praising our troops.
“We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war,” Obama said.
He touched on health care and care for the elderly, saying, “We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future. ... We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few.”
Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security “do not sap our initiative, they strengthen us,” and protect us during times of job loss, sudden illness or other loss, the president said.
“We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class,” he added.
Obama also touched on global warming and equality for all.
He joined his speech to the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day: “We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths — that all of us are created equal — is the star that guides us still, just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall, just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone, to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.”
The president concluded, “Thank you. God Bless you, and may He forever bless these United States of America.”
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