Uresti: MLK March is a celebration, call to action

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February 17, 2010

by Sen. Carlos Uresti
Special to the Southside Reporter

After completing the Martin Luther King, Jr., March in San Antonio — the largest of its kind in the nation — Sen. Carlos Uresti paused to rest. But only for a moment.

"That was a long way," Uresti said, glancing back at the route down MLK Boulevard that ended at Pittman-Sullivan Park. "But it's not anywhere near as long as the road that Doctor King had to walk, and we've still got a long way to go."

Uresti and dozens of other elected officials and community leaders joined a crowd of some 100,000 people for the march, which began under cloudy skies and drizzle but ended in a brilliant blue afternoon.

"Rain or shine, the people of San Antonio have always turned out to honor one of our nation's most enduring heroes," Uresti said. "And they certainly didn't disappoint this year."

The large turnout and the enthusiasm of the marchers reflected both the high regard for King among San Antonio citizens and the ideals he continues to stand for more than 40 years after his death.

"Martin Luther King will always be a source of inspiration for those who prize liberty, justice and equality," Uresti said. "He made the ultimate sacrifice for these noble notions and helped change the attitudes and the future of an entire nation."

The march kicked off a series of events that will run through February, which is Black History Month. Uresti urged people of all races and ethnicities to participate in these events and learn more about Dr. King and the role that African Americans have played in American history.

"The struggle for freedom and equality that Dr. King personified reflects the same challenges that faced our young nation and reminds us today that liberty requires constant vigilance," Uresti said.

"Everyone should know about the Civil Rights Movement and the contributions that African Americans have made in every aspect of American culture," he added. "Their history is part of the history of all Americans."