Honoring Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Yesterday evening I attended the local celebration of the birth of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. It was held at the Northfield Middle School and was organized by members of our local Human Rights Commission. The event opened with greeting music performed by the Carleton College Drumming Ensemble. Mayor Lee Lansing welcomed everyone to the event.

The Northfield Youth Choir treated us to a couple of songs. I always enjoy hearing the voices of those children.

St. Olaf College President David Anderson introduced the speaker for the evening….former Governor Al Quie. Governor Quie gave a very moving and from the heart talk about race, relations and growing up in this part of America. Governor Quie is a Northfield High School and St. Olaf College graduate. I never tire of listening to his stories about growing up on a farm near Dennison

After Governor Quie finished speaking to the assembled group Bill Green presented him with a certificate of appreciation.

The 2007 Northfield Human Rights Award was presented by Peg Prowe to LaNelle Olsen. LaNelle has worked tirelessly on many issues related to fair treatment of all people. I spent 31 years living two doors down from LaNelle and know what a great, hard-worker she is, whether it is helping to plan Northfield from her Planning Commission service to her faithful calls for peace on Bridge Square.

At the conclusion of the celebration we moved to the common area of the school to enjoy birthday cake and conversation. I thank everyone involved in planning this wonderful community celebration in honor of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. What would the world be like today if he wasn’t taken from us at the young age of 39?