Legacy: Remembering a leader

The spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is alive in Dunkirk.

This afternoon, the annual luncheon paying tribute to the life and achievements of the civil rights leader will be held at the Moose Lodge in Dunkirk. This year’s speaker is Nate Shinagawa.

Shinagawa, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress and would have represented Chautauqua County if he had won, has served on the Tompkins County Legislature and served as a director for a nationally recognized non-profit hospital system distinguished by high quality and low costs.

He is a rising star in the state politics and an excellent speaker, much like Dr. King.

One of the most interesting pieces the OBSERVER published in the past year regarding the legacy of Dr. King involved Fredonia’s David Prince.

Forty-eight years ago, Prince was a military escort for King during the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., in an effort to continue the fight for equal voting rights by bringing it to the state’s doorstep.

King joined the protesters on March 9, two days after “Bloody Sunday,” when protesters were viciously attacked by state and local police with batons and tear gas during the march.

On March 21, Prince walked within arm’s reach of King when the march set out again.

As our nation remembers a hero today, consider how Prince viewed this larger than life person.

“There was just something about him,” Prince said in our April 29 edition. “He jumped out of the whole group, the way he carried himself, and he was just a little guy. He really, really made an impression when you saw him.”