Area remembers civil rights leader

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer

Celebrating the heritage left by Martin Luther King Jr., area residents gathered Monday at the Memorial Building to continue living the dream that has been passed on through the generations.

Sponsored by the Portales Cultural Affairs Committee, festivities included a puppet show, guest speakers and musical performances by Andy Mason and the Portales High School Choir.

“We’re very pleased with all the performances and spirit that was demonstrated here today,” said Oscar Robinson, committee chairman.
Guest speaker the Rev. Richard Osburne of Lovington spoke of his experience in meeting and marching with King. Osburne was introduced to King while a seminary student in Syracuse, N.Y., during 1965, he said.

In his remarks, Osburne recalled King encouraging others to be open and proactive to fight for what is right and good for all.

“The world goes ’round, and it’s the heart that drives it. All of us, we want to accomplish something and give, but we are afraid,” Osburne said.

That inspiration has continued to follow Osburne throughout his life and career. He went on to say there are many causes out in the world that continue to need care and attention — abolishing the death penalty, women’s rights and helping the poor are just a few, he said.

“It’s my calling to be a minister. The Lord gives gifts to every age, and community, to do justice, have mercy and walk humbly before him,” Osburne said.

During closing ceremonies, Robinson oversaw the induction of 25 members into the “Wall of Honor,” a memorial established in city park to recognize those people who have worked tirelessly to keep the dream of King alive in the community of Portales.

Honorees will be added every two years for their contributions and continuation of promoting King’s legacy, Robinson said.

“We hope by establishing the honor wall it will grow into a memorial wall for everyone,” Robinson said.