Rock Island Approves Recognition Of MLK Day As Official Holiday
The City of Rock Island made a major step forward as a city. On Monday, Rock Island City Council members on Monday unanimously approved the recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day as an official city holiday.
About Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is officially called the Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., and sometimes referred to as MLK Day, is a federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. Signed into law in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan, the holiday celebrating the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, is observed on the third Monday of January each year.
Born in 1929, King's actual birthday is January 15.
MLK Day In Rock Island
In the press release on Wednesday, officials said that based on public and employee input, City Manager Todd Thompson requested that the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday be added to the official City of Rock Island holiday schedule for all employees on January 16, 2023, and every year going forward.
MLK Center Director Jerry Jones said that it's gratifying to see Rock Island city officials embrace the importance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision for equity and justice by recognizing the holiday that celebrates the Civil Rights leader. Jones continued by telling the public just what MLK Day is all about saying the day is about...
"...remembering the work and aspirations of a great Black American hero toward inspiring all to seek a greater ideal. It is about acknowledging the challenges and the greatness that exists in our communities. It is about recognizing the injustice in our history and how the work of this man has pointed the way toward reconciliation and redemption.”"
First Ward Alderman Moses Robinson was glad to approve MLK Day as an official city holiday saying in the release,
“As we reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we must push ourselves to stand up for what is right even when it's uncomfortable to do. Are we truly living the dream that Dr. King spoke of? It's great to hear once a year but it should be a way of life.”
MLK Day Memorial Service
The MLK Center (630 9th St., Rock Island) will hold its 40th annual memorial service and awards ceremony commemorating the holiday on Monday, January 16 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Dr. LaDrina Wilson will deliver the keynote speech and KWQC TV6 anchor Redrick Terry will act as master of ceremonies. This year's theme is,
"Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle."
The theme is a quote from a sermon Dr. King gave in 1956 at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York.