Hoosiers gather at Christian Theological Seminary to celebrate anniversary of MLK speech

INDIANAPOLIS - People around the country celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech Wednesday, and Indianapolis was no exception.

At the Christian Theological Seminary, 1000 W. 42nd St., faculty and guests gathered to discuss the momentous event.

Among them was former State Representative William Crawford, who said he was called into a career of public service after King's speech.

"We still haven't achieved that more perfect union," Crawford said, "and it's going to be up to the youth of this nation to come together to make that dream a reality."

Dr. Rufus Burrow, a professor of Christian thought at CTS, has co-authored several books on King's life. He said that if people want to carry on King's message, they need to "release him from the steps of the Washington Monument."

"If we are serious about the ideals that King articulated in that speech, if we're serious about it today, then we have to release him from the steps of the Washington Monument, which means that we've got to bring him into the present with us," Burrow said.

In Washington, President Barack Obama lauded the accomplishments of the Civil Rights advocates of King's day, imploring Americans not to dismiss what they accomplished.

"To dismiss the magnitude of this progress, to suggest -- as some sometimes do -- that little has changed, that dishonors the courage, the sacrifice, of those who paid the price to march in those years," Obama said.

Still, he urged the nation not to give up the fight.

"Their victory is great," he said. "But we would dishonor those heroes as well to suggest that the work of this nation is somehow complete."

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