Governor Gary Herbert joined members of the of the Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Commission at the state Capitol today to honor and celebrate the 50th anniversary of King’s famous “I Have a Dream Speech.”
The sounds of the Calvary Baptist Church choir greeted people as they made their way to their seats on the steps of the state Capitol. There they listened to Governor Herbert read a declaration that honors Martin Luther King Jr. for his “I Have a Dream” speech and his contributions to the civil rights movement. Herbert says we need to live up to King’s declaration that we should judge people by the content of their character, and not by the color of their skin.
“Our own characters ought to be embodied of goodness, of kindness, of honesty, of good work ethic, of being good neighbors, of friendly, of respect," Herbert says. "All those things that the characters that we want to be judged by we need to make sure that we incorporate them into our own lives.”
Reverend France Davis of the Calvary Baptist Church also spoke at the ceremony. He saw King’s speech in person when he attended the March of Washington at age 16. He says while the country has come a long way since then, there is still a lot more to do.
“We’ve got the laws on the books now we need the attitudes change," Davis says. "We’ve got the political representation now we need coverage under the health care act. We’ve got one thing after another done, but still one thing after another that needs to be done.”
After the speeches Herbert joined members of the Martin Luther King Commission in ringing hand bells at exactly 1 p.m. Several other buildings and churches with bells in Utah and across the county also rang their bells at that time to signal the exact time King began his speech 50 years ago.